Posts Tagged With: Eoin O’Neill

Fleadh Cheoil na hÉirean. Ennis 2016

I usually don’t do diary-type blogs.  But for the Fleadh in Ennis I will make an exception. This is essentially a rehash of my daily posts on Facebook but many of my blog followers are not on Facebook so I am repeating it here for you. Apologies to those who have read it before.

August 13th 2016.  Day 1

Just the beginning…  The first night of the Fleadh for me was at PJ Kelly’s Pub.  Mental. Pub was packed by 9:30 for the regular Saturday session with room for only half a dozen musicians. Great craic but I can only guess what it will be like later in the week.




August 14th, 2016.  Day 2

I’ve said this before, but what happens outside a festival can be as good as being there. This night was a completely different chilled out experience with songs and tunes at one of my favourite haunts, Cornerstone Bar Lahinch. With Eoin O’Neill, Brid O’Gorman, Willie Cummins, Noirin Lynch, Lorraine Battersby and Luka Bloom seeking respite from the mayhem.


August 15th, 2016.  Day 3

There is a great buzz in Ennis and today I felt it for the first time. It was a glorious sunny day and the town looked a treat. Streets adorned with bollards. Ha. No seriously; shops were painted, there were window displays everywhere, some pop-up shops selling music stuff and there were people on the street. I went to a concert in glor with Christy McNamara, Yvonne Casey and Eoin O’Neill.  Great music. Narrowly missed Martin Hayes, doing a spot for FleadhTV, looked in at Knox’s, played some tunes at Cruises with Denis Liddy and family, Brid O’Gorman, Lorraine Battersby, Caoilfionn Mooorhead, Veronika von Ruden and Kathleen Bremer and listened to The Fiddle Case in the Sanctuary. In the process I wandered around town and caught a bit of the vibe. Like a street carnival.



August 16th, 2016.  Day 4

The sun beckoned; so today I ended up on Lahinch Beach with my Fleadh houseguests from Czech Republic (Iva and Tereza) and from Germany (Katherina). It was a very high tide and the sea was rough and smashed against the rocks. The red flag was flying so there were just a few mad surfers in the water. I now see why Lahinch brings the surfers. We found a patch of sand near the river mouth and I ended up in the water for my second swim of the summer. Hardly the sun bronzed Aussie but it was a perfect tonic. Eventually we ended up in town for Supermacs and to catch the last of the evening light. Crowds are bigger today and the buskers have hatched. They are everywhere. Then the rain came around 930 and scattered them and the pubs filled. It was tunes at Cruises again and then we ended the night with Los Paddys de las Pampas. Thanks Lorraine for dragging me onto the dance floor. I hope the bruises have recovered. There’s no doubt about where this Fleadh is being held. Ennis is writ large. Thanks to Tereza for the photos with me.



August 17th 2016, Day 5.

Stayed away from Ennis today but not away from the music. My cottage was filled during the afternoon with the fiddle and pipes of house guests Haley Richardson  and Keegan Loesel from New Jersey in the States practicing for their Competition spots. Keegan had entered eight! JC Talty would have been very pleased. And in the evening a very special session at Duggan’s at Spancil Hill where Haley and Keegan and I joined in with Yvonne Casey, John Weir, Christy McNamara and a few other lucky people. There were some some gorgeous songs and a sean nos dance from Kristen, another visitor from Boston. Back into the mayhem tomorrow.


August 18th, 2016.  Day 6

Every day is different, Today started with threatening weather and a battle with the Fleadh traffic. Eventually I found a park miraculously two minutes walk from town but it still took half an hour to get through the throng at 3.30 to the Tune Challenge organised byBoston-based Tommy McCarthy. We were supposed to play Humours of Tulla but we played some reels and barn dances and listened to some songs and then just as we were all ready to launch into it the  rain came. Ten minutes later it was fine again. Oh well. This is Ireland. Then I had the most fabulous time dressing up in ridiculous clothes and rehearsing for the Chapel Gates Wren Boys gig (All Ireland Champions you know) and then on to the Gig Rig at 9pm for the absolute highlight for me, of the Festival. What a thrill playing in front of the jam packed street. Many thanks to all the wonderful people who allowed me to participate. Too many to thank but in particular Grainne Fennell and Joan Hanrahan.  Thanks also tomy friend from Boston, Kristen, for grabbing my camera and taking some amazing shots. The street party continued until late in the night as the rain held off. Even the security guards were getting into the silent disco!



August 19th, 2016.  Day 7.

At the heart of the Fleadh is the All Ireland Competition. It’s why Comhaltas started the whole thing back in the 1950s. Today I went to the Fiddle Competition. I watched extraordinarily talented kids perform with aplomb in the Under 15s, with my house guest from South Jersey in the US, Haley Richardson coming in second. And then second again in the Slow Air. Congratulations Haley. Amazing playing. There were sessions everywhere like at Nora Culligan’s with Claire Egan, Jack Talty and Paraic Mac Donnchadhna and  Friends but try finding a seat! Dodging the showers I settled in for the night at PJ Kelly’s with Eileen O’Brien and Deirdre Mc Sherry etc. Great tunes in a great pub. The picture of the lad with the massive trophy is of William who had just won the U15 Mouth Organ!



August 20th, 2016.  Day 8.

No tunes for me today. Just caught the end of the Under 15 Ceili Band Competition. Absolutely jam packed tent. Congratulations to winners Tulóg Ceili Band from Tulla. Up the Banner! Another showery day but the music continued in the pubs and on the street, in tents, in a caravan at the back of the Old Ground Hotel and even in the shops where I stumbled on the Toyota Ceili Band from Japan. The ferrets were captivated. The crowds were a real challenge and by 9pm many pubs had closed their doors and just weren’t letting anyone else in. So I settled into a corner of Cruises with some new friends and enjoyed the party until the small hours. A quiet day tomorrow? Maybe!


August 21st, 2016.  Day 9.

Wet, wet, wet. So not a lot of time on the streets today. I spent the afternoon checking out the merchandise tent (been there, done that, got the t-shirt) and catching some of the sean nos dance competition. Class. The evening I headed to Miltown Malbay in the pouring rain for a concert by the Tulla Ceili Band. Except it wasn’t a concert it was a mini-ceili. With a few guest acts. This was such a wonderful contrast to the streets of Ennis and very few of the Fleadh visitors made the trek. This was real. No need for the whoop-whoop of FleadhTV. I even got up and danced the Siege of Ennis (appropriate?) A first for me. Then a mighty session at Friels Lynch’s with Joanie Madden and couple of the other Cherished Ladies and Haley Richardson.  I like to think of this Fleadh as a Plum Pudding. A great big blob of delicious sweetness but with explosive surprises dotted through it. This was one of those plump little raisins……..

Thanks to Kristen and an anonymous punter for the last two photos.



August 22nd, 2016.  Day 10

The Final Fling!

Monday was such a glorious day of sunshine I didn’t make it in to Ennis until 6.00pm. After saying goodbye to my Fleadh houseguests, Donn and Haley and Lynette and   and Keegan, the afternoon was spent on the shoreline at Caherush but I needed just one final fling. So I headed to town. It was quieter on the streets but the pubs were still doing a roaring trade until the rain returned and Ennis regained some semblance of normality. I played a bit in Nora Culligan’s before doing a final wander and returning home well sated.

Some final words. There is something different about a Fleadh in your own home town. I enjoyed it so much more than Sligo. This was a truly unique week. OK I didnt play much and I went to very few concerts but just being part of something like this was enough. Despite the occasional cold and wet there was warmth and welcomes everywhere. It didn’t matter that you couldn’t move in the pubs or get a seat. Everyone was here to enjoy themselves and they did.  This is the natural home of the Fleadh.

See you next year. And 2018?


Categories: Festivals, Sessions, Stories, Trad Irish Music | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Why I love Irish Music Festivals. Especially the ones I don’t go to.

If you’ve read any of my blog posts you will know I love Festivals.  Traditional Irish Music Festivals to be more precise.   But sometimes I like them even better if I don’t go.  Let me explain.

This weekend 1st to 3rd April in Ennis is a Festival devoted to the concertina.  Clare is of course the home of the concertina in Ireland so what better place to have it.  There is a rich tradition in both East and West Clare and many of the greatest exponents of this instrument either come from or have connections to Clare.  So as you can imagine there are plenty of visiting musicians.  In itself a weekend of concertina music is not such a big drawcard for me though I have planned to attend some of the events.  But what I love is the possibilities that sometimes get thrown up for some really wonderful collaborations.

One such of these happened on Friday night at Kilshanny House.  Kilshanny House is a rural pub located about 10 km north of Ennistymon, which itself is twenty minutes north of Ennis.  Bravely they have started a regular Friday session hosted by Eoin O’Neill.  This night he invited  the wonderful  Kinvara-based accordion player and long-time member of Altan, Dermot Byrne and when it became known that concertina and flute player, John Williams from Chicago, but once resident in Doolin, would also be there this acted as a catalyst for a number of other local and visiting musicians.  Among those sitting around the coffee table with them, giving more of the feel of a living room than a pub, was Adam Shapiro, Conor Byrne and Terry Bingham three musicians well known in Clare.  And the next generation of concertina players Dara and Sarah, joined in also.

This was a relaxed and special session.  Quite different to what was probably happening in Ennis at the same time in the  packed noisy pubs.  You could hear every note, every nuance and it was a real thrill for me to be part of.

Can’t wait for the Fleadh Ceol in Ennis.  Especially for those nights when I won’t be there.


Categories: Sessions, Trad Irish Music | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Where Does the Music in Ireland go in Winter? Answer…. Fitz’s bar in Doolin.

It’s the last night of November.  I am in Doolin in West Clare.  The rain is lashing.  It’s windy and cold.  Normal Irish winter actually.  So of course the only place to be is in a pub in front of the fire with a hot whiskey or a Guinness and listening to or playing Irish music.

Well that’s the plan anyway; during the summer here in Doolin you can find music every night of the week in any of the four pubs; not so now.  All the mid-week sessions have pretty much packed up.  Except that is on Monday nights at Fitz’s Bar at the Hotel Doolin.  Every Monday night, summer or winter, for the last couple of years this session has acted like a beacon in the musical desert (sorry about the mixed metaphor).  Or perhaps an oasis in a stormy sea (there I go again!).

That’s where I ended up in any case.  It has a peculiar welcoming vibe.  The session is hosted by Eoin O’Neill, Quentin Cooper,  Adam Shapiro and Jon O’Connell who are collectively The Fiddle Case and all very well-known musicians around Clare.  They love playing together and that infectious energy is picked up by the musicians attracted there to play with them.  This night we had noted box and concertina player Terry Bingham and Christy Moore’s siblings, Anne Rynne and Luka Bloom join us as well as regulars such as Andee from the States and Séverine from France along with local and international visitors.

Walking into this pub on a Monday is like a welcome home party.  There are so many regulars, locals for which this is their only night out and visitors who though strangers at the beginning of the night may be lifetime friends by the end.  There is always a good mix here.  The tunes are of course at the centre but there will be songs, always of surprising quality, and often from unknowns that Eoin plucks from the crowd.  After thirty years of doing this in Doolin he is a master.

Always a highlight for me is when Jon O’Connell sings Liscannor Bay.  This wonderful song written by local man Mick Flynn has been made his own by John and with the subtle and restrained backing of the fiddle, bouzouki and slide guitar from the band has truly become an anthem.  The great news is that a definitive version has been recorded.  It is not yet available commercially and can’t even be heard on line but it is receiving airplay on ClareFM and wherever good traditional music is played.  Keep your ear open for it.  I’m sure you’ll love it as much as I do.  Even better news is that an album will be released soon with Liscannor Bay included.  Can’t wait.  I really hope it catches the spirit that is Fitz’s on a Monday night.  I am sure it will be very sought after by visitors wanting to take a little of that magic home with them.

It continues to surprise me why many pubs get rid of musicians in winter.  Fitz’s shows what you can do if you pick the right musicians and create the right vibe.  But luckily it’s not the only one.  Try Friels in Miltown Malbay on Friday, Saturday or Sunday or Cooley’s House in Ennistymon on Tuesdays or the Cornerstone in Lahinch on a Sunday if you can’t find anything in Doolin or Ennis.

01-IMG_5838 02-IMG_5842 04-IMG_5859 05-IMG_5871 06-IMG_5872 07-IMG_5885 08-IMG_5890 09-IMG_5897 10-IMG_5904 12-IMG_5926 13-IMG_5950 14-IMG_5957 15-IMG_5976


Categories: Sessions, Trad Irish Music | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Irish Sessions and the Hungarian Connection

As those who follow my blog, or keep up with me on Facebook, would know I go out to listen to or play Irish music every night.  I have missed a couple of nights in the past 18 months.  To some that might sound dull and one dimensional but so be it.  I have my regulars and favourite haunts and musicians I just love playing with and I try and get there every week.  Why, you ask?  Surely it would just be the same and get boring.  Well I’m here to tell you that that is what is so wonderful about sessions in Ireland.  Same musicians, same venue yes but totally different night each time.  The tunes are never the same, the session dynamics are different with different visiting musicians, and the  ambience is different with a different crowd.

An example.  Last night at the Cornerstone in Lahinch. The session was led by Yvonne Casey and Brid O’Gorman two local Clare musicians.  That is normally enough for me as I love the combination of fiddle and flute.  Eoin O’Neill on bouzouki was missing so immediately it was different.  Tonight there was no backing the tunes had to stand on their own.  On a personal note these kinds of sessions bring out the best in my playing.  There’s nowhere to hide. No offence meant Eoin!.  Brid’s sister (fiddle) and her son (concertina) joined us for a while and that was great.  Unfortunately another regular Severin had jammed her fingers and couldn’t play.  The boy sung a lovely song about a set of leaky bagpipes which brought the house down.  I sung a few songs to an attentive and appreciative audience. It was just a lovely session and normally that would have been enough. But you just never know what is around the corner in an Irish pub.

Sitting across from us and riveted all night were two couples.  After initially refusing an invitation from Yvonne to sing, during a pause in the proceedings, two of them suddenly burst into song in a strangely familiar language.  The man had a gorgeous trained baritone voice and the song was full of life and humour even though we didn’t understand a word,   It was fantastic.

We got chatting. It was in Hungarian.

I should say here that I am of Hungarian descent!  Judit and Gyula have been living in Dublin for seven years and were taking Hungarian friends Aliz and Tamas on a quick visit to the Cliffs of Moher.   We got on like a house on fire.  It was like meeting family.  Maybe we were.  Long distant cousins, who knows?  I’m sure I will meet them again.

Anyway that’s what Irish music does.  I see it all the time.  It brings the most unlikely people together.

Can’t wait for tomorrow night.

1-20151115_224737 [153964] 2-20151116_000042 [154216] 3-20151116_002859 [154402] 4-20151115_224716 [156166] 6-20151116_002831 [165153]

Categories: Real Ireland, Sessions, Trad Irish Music | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Eoin O’Neill and the Mórglór Award

Every now and then something comes along that, for me, reaffirms my raison d’etre for being here in Ireland.  Something that underscores and reinforces the creative core of Irish music and gives a window into the Irish psyche.   Such an event was the Mórglór concert held on 10th October in the glor Theatre.  The Mórglór award is relatively new and the brainchild of Tim Collins, leader of the Kilfenora Ceili Band among other things, and is presented to an individual or group who have made an outstanding contribution to culture in Clare.  It is not so much the concert (and it was fantastic by the way but I will have more to say on that) which made this event outstanding  but it was the way it embraced and fired up the local and international community of traditional music followers.

Last year the award was deservedly won by the organisers of the Corofin Festival.  The recipient this year was Eoin O’Neill.  Eoin is a giant on the Clare music scene.  His contribution to music in this county is deep and profound.  He has been playing trad,  particularly in Doolin and Ennis, since he arrived here from Dublin 35 years ago, playing with many of the greats.  He has recorded dozens of CDs both his own collaborations or as a session musician with many of the big names, adding his sometimes subtle, sometimes driving, bouzouki always in tune with the music and always with soul.  He has mentored many younger musicians encouraging them to play in public and to record and he has also identified many older musicians ensuring their legacy is preserved. To watch him work a room during a session and bring everyone along with him for the ride is to watch a master communicator and someone who really understands the pull of Irish Music and why people come here. Through his contribution to the ClareFM programme West Wind he has built an enormous international following.  It would be difficult to overstate the contribution this has made to Clare’s reputation as the go-to place for Irish Music.  This is evidenced by the response to this concert.  As soon as it was announced tickets flew out the door even before the line-up was announced.  Many of these bookings came from Eoin’s followers all round the world.  People came for this concert from Netherlands, Belgium, UK, France, Germany, the US and who knows where else.  Many of these are regular attendees of festivals in Clare and many have their strong connection to Clare music through Eoin.

As I say it wasn’t just the concert.  What was remarkable was that this award triggered a Festival-like celebration and an almost continuous weekend of traditional music.

On Friday night was a session at PJ Kelly’s with Eoin, Joan Hanrahan and Brid O’Gorman and many visitors.  It was hard to get a seat at the table.  Kelly’s is one of the great pubs in Clare to listen to and play Irish music and I have written about this before but this night had something extra.  Particularly of note was the singing, which soared, with contributions from Noirin Lynch, Willie Cummins, Steve Brown, Job Cornelissen and singers from the bar.  A particular highlight for me was when the whole pub joined in with the singing of Red is the Rose.

I might digress here to mention briefly Eoin’s influence on me.  I play with Eoin regularly.  Musicians that Eoin plays with are the kind of musicians that I enjoy playing with.  So he has become a friend.  With a dry sense of humour, his mastery of the Irish tradition of slagging, his deep knowledge of music and his strong opinions, which he is only too willing to share, it is a pleasure to spend time in his company.  He has tolerated my musical inadequacies with good grace and always made me feel welcome.  And recently he has encouraged me to sing more and play guitar even suggesting songs, one of which was Red is the Rose.  That night at Kelly’s I understood why.

Saturday afternoon saw visiting musicians gather at Cruises from 2pm to share tunes and stories.  I love playing in the afternoon.  The pubs are quieter the music somehow seems cleaner and everyone is more relaxed.  This turned out to be the case here.

But all this was a precursor to the main event which kicked off at 8pm.  The programme had Eoin’s stamp all over it.  Mainly a reflection of where he is at now musically, but with clear reference to where he has come from.  Ever generous with his time and his words, he paid tribute to Tony Dalton who he acknowledged as his greatest influence on his arrival in Doolin and who broke a 30 year playing hiatus to join Eoin on stage.  There were also some of his old sparring partners such as Kevin Griffin, Terry Bingham and Kevin Crawford and among his current collaborators were Yvonne Casey, Joan Hanrahan, Brid O’Gorman, Luka Bloom, Quentin Cooper, Adam Shapiro, Dermot Byrne, Noirin Lynch and Willie Cummins.   And surprise packets (though not to me as I was well aware of their talents) were some of his protégés such as concertina player Aiobheann Queally and the sweet, sweet voice of Clara Buetler.  It was a complete concert with various combinations of the who’s who of Clare music weaving their tunes and songs through a packed glor theatre.  The common thread was Eoin’s ever-present bouzouki and his ever-present sense of humour.  The obvious friendship with all of the musicians and, in particular, his long-time colleague Quentin Cooper, binding it all together.  The music reached great heights.  Luka Bloom put in an excellent set with his more driving contemporary sound being a strong counterpoint to the class traditional music that we had most of the night. This was a gentle reminder that Eoin is not just about trad but has wide musical tastes as evidenced by his eclectic radio show on Sundays where, as was pointed out during the night, you can have Purple Rain followed by Micho Russell. There were many highlights for the night.  But for me the biggest buzz is what happens when you put class musicians together who understand each other and enjoy playing together.  This was no more in evidence than in the last set where everyone joined in and took the roof off.  Ever humble Eoin was somewhat bewildered by the standing ovation which he so clearly deserved.

As is often the way in this town, the concert was only the beginning of the night and many adjourned to the Old Ground where the Guinness flowed along with the music until well after 4am.  To his credit Eoin was there until the very end, when I departed, stumbling back to my bed in the Rowan Tree to grab some fitful sleep.

As if that wasn’t enough the Sunday saw the remnants gather at Brogan’s at 1pm for what one would have thought would have been a nice quiet recovery session.  But no.  The tiredness was evident but the music did not suffer.   It was a bit of the old Brogans and it felt good to be part of it.

A wonderful and fitting weekend of celebration for a great man of the music.  Comhghairdeas ó chroí le Eoin.

01-IMG_1336 02-IMG_1339 03-IMG_1340 04-IMG_1350 05-IMG_1351 06-IMG_1358 07-IMG_1370 08-IMG_1372 09-IMG_1388 10-IMG_1383 11-IMG_1393 12-IMG_1398 13-IMG_1400 14-IMG_1423 15-IMG_1432 16-IMG_1440 17-IMG_1461 18-IMG_1464 19-IMG_1479 20-IMG_1483 21-IMG_1492 22-IMG_1496 23-IMG_1502 24-IMG_1522 25-IMG_1542 26-IMG_1543 27-IMG_1552 28-IMG_1567 29-IMG_1561 30-IMG_1575 31-IMG_1593 32-IMG_1592 33-IMG_1594 34-IMG_1598 35-IMG_1599 36-IMG_1604


Categories: Concerts, Sessions, Trad Irish Music | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Doolin Folk Festival 2015 Day 1

From the moment I walked out the door and into the festival marquee it had an air of familiarity. There were the seats and fires in drums and hay bales and over to the right was the food area with my tongue already salivating for a pulled pork roll; the L-shaped marquee, everything was the same. And that great vibe that I only found here at this Festival, last year in my travels around Ireland.

But yet it was different. Lots of new music with only one band familiar from last year. This is remarkable that organiser, Connor Byrne could have managed this. But it is testament to the depth of music talent in this tiny country.

The hardest gig in a festival is to kick it off. People are still dribbling in and it takes a lot to grab attention. Clare man David Hope did this creditably with his guitar and self-penned songs. . The rapidly filling tent gave him a warm reception and by the time he handed over to Fiddle Case the crowd was well and truly in the mood. Musicians in this band are well known to people from this part of Clare. Eoin O’Neill (of West Wind fame and current recipient of the Mór Glor award for his contribution to Clare music), the multi-talented Quentin Cooper, Adam Shapiro and Jon O’Connell can be seen regularly in sessions at Doolin, Lahinch, Ennistymon, Lisdoonvarna or Ennis. This familiarity however did not take away from what was a fresh and vibrant set of tunes interspersed with songs from Jon. The mellow unhurried delivery suited the situation to a tee. It was especially nice to see a larger audience get to hear the wonderful voice of Jon and, in particular, Liscannor Bay, a song he has made his own.

The boys were joined by the legendary Christy Barry, who impressed with The Coolin on low whistle and then a duet of Paddy Fahey tunes with Adam Shapiro. Adam is one of those modest unsung fiddling talents of West Clare and brought the house down with his playing. The set was interrupted by Luka Bloom who announced Christy as the recipient of the Doolin Festival award for lifetime achievement. When an emotional Christy recovered his composure he delivered a fine speech. Modest to the end he thanked everyone, saying how grateful he was to get the award because it meant he didn’t have to play. He was profuse though in his praise of Doolin. ‘There is no theatre in the world like Doolin’.  And Christy is a huge part of that. We had a cameo dance piece from Tess McGovern and then it was time for Sharon Shannon.

Sharon and her band burst onto the stage and gave us everything we wanted. This was a very different Sharon to the one I remembered way back in Fremantle maybe 15 years ago at the Fly by Night Club. Here she engaged the audience, chided them for not dancing, there was banter and there was fun and she was clearly happy to be back home in Clare. There were all those familiar favourites mixed in with some classical, some slow airs, some mouth music turned beat boxing and some out-there electric guitar. Particularly memorable was Black Betty morphing into the Mouth of the Tobique. A deserved encore gave us, of course, Galway Girl. All through it there was Sharon’s infectious smile and sense of joy and you couldn’t help but go along for the journey.

Mea culpa time now. I have to admit I hadn’t heard of Declan O’Rourke before. Shame on me as he actually started his music in Australia and his first album (Since Kyabram) referenced that time. I was soon brought up to speed. The largely female audience thronged to the front as the seats were removed. A deep gravelly voice one moment and then falsetto the next. Declan is a unique talent. I recognised the song Galileo and the audience joined in enthusiastically with Love is the Way. Here is a real musician, a singer songwriter with a unique talent and a similarly unique soulful voice. This is what Festivals should be about – discovering new music that touches you.

In the Main Arena Moxie were given the party spot starting at 12 and keeping a large crowd there until after 1:30 when I called it quits. I remembered them from last year and this bunch of young guys deliver a distinctive energetic, sometimes frenetic, instrumental Celtic-based music. I say Celtic-based because while the instrumentation is familiar to the trad heads (banjos, accordions) the sound is not. A great way to finish the night.

Meanwhile in the Whitehorse Sessions there was some fantastic music on display. I only caught bits of it but was blown away by The Evertides, three Dublin girls, with gorgeous harmonies and Marc O’Reilly and his band. A great innovation.

What a start! Talk tomorrow. 03-IMG_8317 bs2nger$ 02-IMG_8293 04-IMG_8564 06-IMG_8447 08-IMG_8542 09-IMG_8554 10-IMG_8620 05-IMG_8407 12-IMG_8609 15-IMG_8730 16-IMG_8801 17-IMG_8789 18-IMG_8805 19-IMG_8819 20-IMG_8851 21-IMG_8905 22-IMG_8944 29-IMG_9063 35-IMG_9218 52-IMG_9853 40-IMG_9345 46-IMG_9606 54-IMG_9902 43-IMG_9478 47-IMG_9718 55-IMG_9907 57-IMG_9920 58-IMG_9933 1-IMG_9591 2-IMG_9457 63-IMG_0020 59-IMG_9958 64-IMG_0032 68-IMG_0067 66-IMG_0058 67-IMG_0062 69-IMG_0081 70-IMG_0039 71-IMG_0038 72-IMG_0034 2-IMG_0080 3-IMG_0083 1-IMG_8229 14-IMG_8704 61-IMG_9992

Categories: Festivals, Trad Irish Music | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Brogan’s Bar Ennis

On Saturday 14th February Brogan’s Bar in Ennis will change management.  Over the last five decades it has been a go-to traditional music venue in this town and has achieved legendary status with Irish musicians all around the world.  Two of it’s regular stalwarts, Eoin O’Neill and Quentin Cooper,  had their last session there on Thursday.  It was a wonderful celebration and a fitting farewell.  I will have more to say on Brogan’s and what it meant to Ennis and traditional music in Clare and beyond in an upcoming blog and I will include a selection of my best photos from the last nine months, but in the meanwhile here are some images from that last magic night.

IMG_3101 IMG_3104 IMG_3112 IMG_3124 IMG_3130 IMG_3138 IMG_3168 IMG_3180 IMG_3189 IMG_3219 IMG_3232 IMG_3238 IMG_3309 IMG_3314 IMG_3329 IMG_3352 IMG_3360 IMG_3386 IMG_3422 IMG_3454 IMG_3492 IMG_3545 IMG_3551

Categories: Sessions, Trad Irish Music | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Blog at