Caves of Cong is Josie Nugent and Brian Stafford's debut duo album, a project borne with a long love affair with the collections*. The album draws on a repertoire much of which dates from before the Great Famine. Some of the melodies are unusual versions of commonly known tunes, many may not have been heard in living memory.

Guest musicians are Alan Burke, Edel McLaughlin and Mary Nugent.

Caves of Cong is available via our online shop. It is also available from Claddagh Records and Custy's.

*Fiona Heyhood, The Living Tradition


Josie Nugent (fiddle) and Brian Stafford (uilleann pipes) are a Belfast-based fiddle and uilleann pipes duo. Their playing has been described as fresh, electric and sublime. Both are experienced musicians collaborating in many musical genres, ranging from traditional to jazz and even orchestral.

A stand out feature of their superb musicianship is the use of instrumentation to create texture, colour and authenticity. Josie’s languid Clare style on fiddle, octave violin and the evocative Stroh fiddle blends with the sweet mellow tones from Brian’s innovate piping skills on his concert and B♭ pipes.

Their debut album, The Caves of Cong, has been hailed as an intriguing, beguiling and inspirational; an album that opens a door to a world of music waiting to be re-discovered.

The repertoire is fresh and eclectic, the playing is just sublime. This is an album from which listeners, dancers and players can all take inspiration.

Gordon Potter, The Living Tradition

An ceol go hálainn ar an CD agus an-éagsúlacht - binn blasta

Neansaí Ni Choisdealbha, RTE RnaG

It's the combination of fiddle and pipes which really makes this such an enjoyable album ... the languid Clare fiddle style blends with quite tight fingering on the chanter, a relatively closed style which is softened by pipes by Derry maker Finbar McLaughlin.

Alex Monaghan, Piping Today

A great joy of the album is the rediscovery of different dance forms ... Stafford and Nugent have blown the dust off the old manuscripts, reviving some seriously impressive tunes in the process.

Seán Laffey, Irish Music Magazine, September 2014