The 'Raw Bar' is that elusive, pure and indefinable essence of traditional music which offers no easy definition but which is unmistakable when experienced. Presented by Dermot Mc Laughlin 'The Raw Bar Remix' presents a selection of performances recorded during the filming of the two series of The Raw Bar.
In 'The Raw Bar Remix' we travel around Ireland and extend our reach to America, the UK, Europe and further a field to meet the individuals, musicians, singers and dancers who make up the global community of Irish traditional music.
Featuring great performances from emerging and established musicians, we get a sense of an art form deep rooted and contemporary as well as being informed from deep within the tradition.
Programme 1: 27th July 2007
Mairéad Ní Mhaonaigh | Liam O'Connor | Connor McKeon | Harry Bradley | Ciarán Ó Maonaigh | Paul Dooley | Rick Epping | Frankie Gavin | Arty McGlynn | Tommy, Marian, Bernadette & Jacqueline McCarthy | Aisling, Irene and Brian Cunningham | Johnny Connelly | Erin Loughnane, Deirdre Brennan, Maeve Flanagan | Mike McGoldrick | Dezi Donnelly | Mick Moloney | Dana Lynn | Robbie O'Connell
Mairéad Ní Mhaonaigh
Mairéad Ní Mhaonaigh was born and raised in the Donegal Gaeltacht of Gaoth Dobhair. Her first language was Irish, and from her earliest years she was surrounded by music and song. Now one of the leading exponents of Donegal fiddle music, she received her start on the instrument from her father, Francie, a great fiddle teacher with a wealth of unusual local tunes, many learnt in turn from his mother, Roise. Sadly, Francie died last month but his music and spirit lives on. Mairéad also received tuition and inspiration from fiddler, Dinny McLaughlin, who was a frequent visitor to the home when she was young. Mairead has always had an equal love of singing and again learnt many songs from neighbours and friends in Donegal. As well as her work with Altan, Mairead over the years has presented traditional music programmes on radio and television, including the classic radio show, "The Long Note" and the television series, "The Pure Drop".
Born into a musical family in Dublin and still in his early 20's Liam has recently qualified as a national school teacher and has been awarded the prestigious TG4, "Young Traditional Musician of the Year".
Liam absorbed much music in the home and began fiddle lessons with Seamus Glackin at the age of 8 and he credits Seamus with having developed and sustained his deep interest in traditional fiddle music. Hs is also an accomplished concertina player.
He has won 5 All Ireland fiddle and slow air championships, won the Oireachtas fiddle competition at junior and senior levels. He has toured and played extensively in Ireland, the USA and in Europe in combination with Sean McKeon, Liam O'Flynn, Noel Hill and Harry Bradley.
A member of the famous McKeon family of pipers, Conor is a master of the uileann pipes and was rewarded with the Young Musician of the Year prize at the TG4 Gradam Ceoil in 2000.
Harry Bradley was born in South Belfast in 1974 and discovered Irish traditional music through popular recordings of it. The vibrant 78 record recording heritage from the 1920s and 30s has had a huge influence on his personal playing style as has the playing of more contemporary exponents such as Seamus Tansey, Dessie Wilkinson, John Carty and piper Seamus Ennis to name but a few.
To date Harry has recorded two solo flute CDs "Bad Turns and Horseshoe Bends"(Outlet) and "As I Carelessly Did stray..."(Claddagh Records) and a trio recording with Jesse Smith (fiddle) and John Blake (guitar/piano/flute) titled "The Tap Room Trio"(Claddagh Records). He appeared as a guest musician on Altan's "The Blue Idol" CD.
Harry now lives in Dublin where he teaches flute regularly at Na Píobairí Uilleann headquarters. He is also a dedicated Uilleann piper and a member of the board of directors of Na Píobairí Uilleann.
A nephew of Altan's celebrated fiddle player and lead singer Mairead Ní Mhaonaigh, Ciaran O'Maonaigh demonstrates in his young twenties a command of the traditional idiom and of the Donegal style of fiddle playing in particular which few achieve even with a lifetime of practice of the art. O'Maonaigh handles with ease the most demanding techniques, high cuts, droning, intricate bow work, which contribute to giving Donegal fiddle music its characteristic sound, achieving a sound which is polished and yet appropriately earthy and energetic. His debut cd "The Music of the Glen" has been described as simply a must for fans of Donegal fiddle music. In 2003 Ciaran was awarded the TG4 Young Musician of the Year.
Paul Dooley is one of the very few Irish people who play the Irish harp in its historical form and style - using a metal-strung harp, playing with the fingernails and damping unwanted string resonance with the fingertips. Paul studied the construction of medieval Irish harps in Dublin during the early 1980s and has built several harps. He started his performing career on the metal-strung harp in 1986 and has appeared on numerous CD recordings and television soundtracks.
His repertoire consists mostly of traditional Irish dance music, including jigs and reels, some of which he has learned from recordings and printed music but mostly learned from other musicians: pipers, flute players and fiddlers. This music proves a real challenge for any type of harp and consequently hasn't been explored very much on the instrument. Paul has also spent the past ten years working on the Robert ap Huw manuscript, the oldest collection of harp music in existence.
Rick Epping played and taught harmonica during the folk and blues revivals of the 1960's, and was for four years a member of the UCLA Balkan Dance and Music Ensemble. During the 70's he lived in Ireland where he pursued the traditional music, and was the 1975 All-Ireland Harmonica champion. As a member of a folk group there, he appeared often on RTE, UTV and BBC television and radio broadcasts, toured throughout Europe and recorded an album that reached #2 in the Irish charts. In 1998 and 1999, Rick toured in Ireland and Scotland along with harmonicists Brendan Power and Mick Kinsella, performing Irish, blues and original music.
As product manager for Hohner Harmonicas, Rick has, for over 10 years, been traveling to Hohner's factories in Germany and China, supervising harmonica production and assisting in research and design. He has conducted clinics and workshops for Hohner in the United States, Germany and Argentina, and a Hohner Harmonica demonstration video he made in 1994 has been distributed throughout the USA, Europe, Russia and Southeast Asia. Rick is a regular columnist for the Hohner magazine, "Easy Reeding", and is Vice President / USA of Federation Internationale de l'Harmonica.
Frankie Gavin was born in 1956 in Corrandulla, Co. Galway. He comes from a musical family: his father played fiddle, and, his mother and all of her family played also.
He started playing the tin whistle at age four, making his first T.V. appearance three years later. At the age of ten years old Frankie began to play fiddle and at the age of seventeen he placed first in the All Ireland Fiddle Competition and in the All Ireland Flute Competition, both on the same day. He is a founder member of 1970s Irish traditional group De Dannan. By the age of 15 he had won the All Ireland Fiddle and All Ireland tin whistle championship . He is known for playing in a very fast and virtuosic Galway style. Gavin has recorded and played with many of the best traditional musicians of his generation. His boundless energy has also driven him to record many side-projects, including work with Elvis Costello, The Rolling Stones, Keith Richards, Yehudi Menuhin, Stéphane Grappelli and Earl Scruggs. Together with accordionist Paul Brock, Frankie recorded "Omos Do Joe Cooley" a tribute to the renowned Irish-American accordion player. In recent years, Frankie has released records with the likes of Joe Derrane, Michael McGoldrick and Sharon Shannon. He currently tours with the self titled "Frankie Gavin Band".
Celtic folk guitarist Arty McGlynn was born in Omagh, Co. Tyrone; his first musical instrument was the accordion, and by the age of five he was already playing reels with considerable skill. Given his first guitar six years later, McGlynn found early inspiration in jazz artists Wes Montgomery and Barney Kessel, and by age 15, he was performing professionally. Only during the late '70s did he turn to traditional Irish music, recording his debut solo album, McGlynn's Fancy, in 1979. A sought-after sideman who recorded and toured in support of Van Morrison, Christy Moore, Planxty, and countless others, in 1989, McGlynn teamed with his wife, fiddler Nollaig Casey, for the duet collection Feed the Knave, followed in 1995 by Causeway. Celtic Airs appeared in 2000 Arty has composed music for several television documentaries and together with Nollaig arranged and played music for the sound track of the Irish feature film "Moondance" as well as "Hear My Song", in which they also made an appearance. More recently Arty played on the sound track of the film 'Waking Ned Devine' where the music was composed by Shaun Davey.
Jacqueline, Tommy, Marian and Bernadette McCarthy
Jacqueline was born in London in 1957. Her parents had emigrated to England in the early 1950's. She grew up to traditional music, her father Tommy McCarthy being a piper and concertina player from Kilmihil, Co. Clare. She played with all the legendary players from Ireland who were living in London. Musicians like Máirtin Byrnes, Raymond Roland, Roger Sherlock, Danny Meehan, Paddy Taylor and Bobby Casey were all part of a thriving music scene that Jacqueline experienced first hand. She also recalls meeting John Kelly and Willie Clancy during frequent visits to Ireland.
With their father Tommy, Jacqueline and her sisters Marion and Bernadette and brother Tommy perform throughout Ireland and the U.K. including The Royal Albert Hall, London. Since 1987 Jacqueline has been living in Co. Galway where she teaches concertina. She is a regular performer at the Willie Clancy Summer School in Co. Clare and has toured the U.S. on several occasions with her husband Tommy Keane. In 1995 they released an album The Wind Among the Reeds. She is a member of Maigh Séola a group who specialise in songs collected in North County Galway at the beginning of the 20th century. In 1999 The McCarthy Family released The Hidden Note featuring Tommy Keane and Alec Finn.
Tommy, Marian and Brian Cunningham
The Cunningham family returned to Connemara after several years living in America and England. They adapted the style of dance they learned through competitions they competed in Ireland and the United States into their own free style form which is heavily influenced by the sean nós style of dance in Connemara.
An acclaimed accordion player, Connemara based Johnny Connelly is an accomplished musician known as well for his accompaniment of dancers as he is as a solo musician. With both his children now joining him in sessions on fiddle and accordion nothing exemplifies the Connemara style of sean nós music and dance as much as Johnny Connelly's accordion playing.
Erin Loughnane, Deirdre Brennan and Maeve Flanagan
Erin Deirdre and Maeve are three young girls from New York. Born into an Irish American community they began lessons in traditional music at an early age. Maeve's mother Rose Flanagan is their teacher . Rose is an accomplished player and sister of the well known fiddle player Brian Conway . The three girls are frequent visitors to the Fleadh Cheoil and have won competitions there playing as a trio.
Born in Manchester to Irish parents, Michael McGoldrick was encouraged by the thriving traditional Irish music scene in the city and by the age of 15, he had already won numerous All-Ireland Championships after swapping bodhran to play flute and whistles. He became the first piper/flautist to win the acclaimed BBC Radio Two Young Tradition Award in September 1995.
Mike was a founder member of Toss the Feathers, and went on to form Flook!, In the late 90's he was invited to join Scottish folk-legends Capercaillie, with whom he recorded "Beautiful Wasteland". Michael has remained a member of Capercaillie ever since and contributed the interestingly-titled track, "Faitte Gu Whalley Range" ("Farewell to Whalley Range") to the "Nadurra" album. In 1998 Mike helped form yet another band; the self-titled debut album from Irish folk artists, Lunasa, won many plaudits and he returned a year later to contribute to the follow-up album, "Otherworld".
He has performed and recorded with the who's who of music including Jim Kerr, Youssou N'Dour, John Cale, Kate Rusby, Afro Celt Sound System, Karan Casey and fiddle supremo Dezi Donnelly.
His album "Fused" is a masterpiece, mixing traditional with trance and fusion. The collection of some of Mike's favourite tunes as well as some brilliant self-penned tracks has been described as one of the most ground-breaking folk albums of all time, redirecting the future of traditional music.
Mike is an inspired musician although amazingly he can not read or write a note of music. His work is highly celebrated whether it be on his solo albums or with Toss The Feathers, Flook!, Capercaillie, Dezi Donnelly or as a session musician he has always remained determined to re-write the rule book and is regarded as one of the greatest flute players of all time.
Mike McGoldrick's most recent solo album, "Wired" is the product of 3 years writing, recording, experimenting and perfecting his art, it is the natural successor to his seminal album "Fused", only even bolder and more captivating, incorporating alternative sounds into traditional music to create a brilliant fusion at the cutting edge of folk music that positively bursts with energy.
It is a well known cliche, to describe a fiddle player as "a devil fiddler" but in Dezi Donnelly's case this is more of an understatement! The sibling of a Manchester fiddler dynasty is both All Britain and All Ireland Champion, a title truly deserved for his brilliant jigs and reels. Having played the fiddle since the age of 7, Dezi was North West and All Britain fiddle champion by the age of 9. Amazingly, by the age of 15, he had won the All Ireland championship an astounding 5 times!
Dezi joined legendary Manchester-Irish band, Toss The Feathers, whilst still in his teens. Between 1988-91 and 1994-95 he appeared on the brilliant "Columbus Eclipse" and "Awakenings" albums.
It was during this period (in 1989 to be precise) that Dezi recorded some tracks with Mancunian flutist Michael McGoldrick. Mike's flute and Dezi's fiddle gently spar on most of the tracks, however each take the lead when required and the arrangements allow them to swap leads within sets to great effect. The tracks were later released on the album, "Champions Of The North", and Dezi also featured on Mike's amazing "Fused" album. 1997 saw Dezi become runner-up in the BBC award "Young Traditional Musician Of The Year", a title previously held by Michael McGoldrick. He is no pure traditionalist however. He is the unpredictable wonderboy of fiddle improvisation.
Dezi went one better in 1998, scooping the "All Ireland Young Traditional Musician Of The Year". The award pocketed him IR£5000 and a recording contract. The best prize however was on his doorstep when he arrived home, in the form of a congratulatory letter from his idle, ex-Manchester United legend, Eric Cantona. The "All Ireland" award created a very productive period for Dezi. He was invited to join Irish traditionalists, Stockton's Wing in May '99 and by July he had released his debut solo album. "Familiar Footsteps".
"Familiar Footsteps" is already recognised as one of the greatest traditional fiddle albums of all time and has won rave reviews. With fellow Mancunian guitarist, Kieran Cunningham, Dezi has also found time to form Quare Craic which has given him a further stage to astound new audiences all over Europe with his energetic fiddle playing. He is fast becoming recognised as the greatest fiddle player alive today!
Mick Moloney is the author of "Far From the Shamrock Shore: The story of Irish American History Through Song" released by Crown Publications in February of 2002 with an accompanying CD on Shanachie Records. He holds a Ph.D. in folklore and folklife from the University of Pennsylvania. He has taught ethnomusicology, folklore and Irish studies courses at the University of Pennsylvania, Georgetown, and Villanova Universities, and currently teaches at New York University in the Irish Studies program.
He has recorded and produced over forty albums of traditional music and acted as advisor for scores of festivals and concerts all over America. Mick also served as the artistic director for several major arts tours including The Green Fields of America, an ensemble of Irish musicians, singers and dancers which toured across the United States on several occasions.
He has hosted three nationally syndicated series of folk music on American Public Television; was a consultant, performer and interviewee on the Irish Television special "Bringing It All Back Home"; a participant, consultant and music arranger of the PBS documentary film "Out of Ireland"; and a performer on the PBS special "The Irish in America: Long Journey Home." In 1999 he was awarded the National Heritage Award from the National Endowment for the Arts - the highest official honor a traditional artist can receive in the United States.
Dana Lynn was born in Los Angeles, California and is a graduate of Oberland. She has toured with Susan McKeown, Donna Long, Tina Lech and for eight years has toured with Cherish the Ladies. She learned Irish music from Brendan Mulvihill and later toured with him.
Singer/songwriter Robbie O'Connell has been called "a national treasure" in Ireland and "a master of Irish music" in the United States. He began a successful solo career in 1982 with the release of his debut, Close to the Bone. Previously, he spent time in a group called Green Fields of America alongside Seamus Egan and Eileen Ivers. He also performed and recorded with the Clancy Brothers, his uncles. Their collaboration included several CDs and a 1992 appearance at Carnegie Hall in New York.
A native of Waterford, O'Connell was raised in County Tipperary in Carrick-on-Suir. When he was 13 he took to the stage as a singer and guitar player at his parents' hotel, which hosted folk concerts every week. Later he played English folk pubs for a year before becoming a student at University College Dublin. When summers offered a break from the study of philosophy and literature, he headed to the U.S. where he easily found a job as an Irish singer to help pay for his education. The experience cemented his desire to perform. O'Connell entered the Clancy Brothers lineup in 1977 and proceeded to make a trio of albums with the group. By the end of the decade, he settled permanently in Franklin, MA. After he released Close to the Bone, the singer toured frequently with Green Fields of America, as well as with Jimmy Keane and Mick Moloney.
O'Connell believes that keeping a hand in a variety of musical endeavors will help keep his music fresh. He teaches songwriting during Boston College's Gaelic Roots Week, at West Virginia's Augusta Heritage Arts Workshop, and at Boston's Summer Acoustic Music Week.