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 2: 3rd August 2007
Michael Clarkson | Ciaran Carson | John Carty | Seamus Quinn | Harry Bradley | Seamus Begley | Liam O'Connor | Niall O'Leary | Andy Irvine | Dónal Lunny | Brendan Begley & Sons | Reg Hall
John Carty is one of Ireland's finest traditional musicians having been awarded TG4's Traditional Musician of the Year in 2003. Before receiving the award Carty already had three solo fiddle albums, two banjo albums, two group albums and a sprinkling of recorded tenor guitar and flute music recordings under his belt.
Born in London, fiddler John Carty has established himself among the elite in Irish traditional music and as a staunch supporter of its preservation. Carty developed his love for fiddle, banjo, and flute, all of which he has mastered, through his multi-instrumentalist father who was a member of the Glenside Ceili Band in London in the 1960's.
At the age of 16 Carty found himself playing in sessions with some of Irish music's finest and he began to entertain the thought of relocating to Ireland. Soon after settling in Boyle, Co Roscommon, Carty released his 1994 debut banjo album, The Cat that Ate the Candle to positive reviews.
This led to his first fiddle album, Last Night's Fun, released on Shanachie Records in 1996. This album has been described as a milestone in recorded fiddle music. In 1997 he formed At the Racket, a fun, loose, free-spirited dance band named after an old Flanagan Brothers 78 rpm. The group recorded two highly acclaimed CDs, "At the Racket" and "Mirth Making Heroes" and toured all the major European festivals.
In 2000 he teamed up with guitarist Arty McGlynn and began work on his second fiddle release, "Yeh, That's All It Is". His third record for Shanachie, At It Again, arrived in 2003.
July 2005 saw the launch of Carty's latest CD featuring banjo and tenor guitar, "I Will If I Can". Accompanied by Alec Finn, Brian McGrath and Johnny McDonagh, Carty once again shows his plectrum prowess to full affect.
John performs regularly with Chieftain's flautist Matt Molloy exploring the North Connaught tradition they both love. He has also toured the UK, US and Ireland with re-formed super group, Patrick Street. The group includes legendary musicians Andy Irvine, Kevin Burke, Jackie Daly and Ged Foley. He has also appeared as a special guest with the Chieftains and De Danaan.
John's solo and group careers see him in demand and he has performed at all major festivals throughout Europe, North America and Australasia.
Although better known as a flute-player, Belfast born Harry Bradley is an accomplished piper. He became a Board member of Na Piobairi Uileann in 2004 and is working on the production of a recording which will provide interactive tuition on the techniques of the master pipers. As a flute player he has made several highly-regarded recordings, including solo albums and ones in collaboration with the "Tap-House Trio" and with Paul O'Shaughnessy.
Seamus Begley comes from Dingle, in Co. Kerry. Initially best known for his work with the Australian guitarist Steve Cooney, Seamus is the quintessential Irish musician, an eager storyteller famed for his sharp wit and for pumping out tune after tune at all-night sessions. He plays with an energy that is alarming, belting out jigs, slides and polkas with rapid sprays of ornamentation before making a sudden key change into a bitter-sweet air, sung or played on the accordion. In short, he is the finest exponent of West Kerry dance music.
Born into a musical family in Dublin, his father Mick is a renowned music historian, flute-player and former member of the Castle Ceili Band. In 2002 Liam was 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. Liam completed all eight grades of classical violin with distinction in the College of Music, Chatham Row, Dublin and is 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. Liam has been asked to teach at the Willie Clancy Summer School, Scoil Acla, The Frankie Kennedy Winter School and The Joe Mooney Summer School in Drumshanbo. He has toured and played extensively in Ireland in combination with Sean McKeon, Liam O'Flynn, Noel Hill and Harry Bradley.
Dublin born Niall O'Leary is a former All-Ireland and World Champion, he founded the Niall O'Leary School of Irish Dance in Dublin in 1995 and in New York in 1996. The School is currently the largest in New York City.
Niall qualified as an Irish dance instructor in 1994 and as an Irish dance adjudicator in 2006.
In 1996 he put together and choreographed the first ever multi-national team to compete in the World Irish Dance Championships, including dancers from Germany, Finland, Switzerland, Belgium, Australia, Botswana, USA and Ireland. He has also choreographed shows for Comhaltas in Dublin and in the US and Irish dance routines for Pfizer's Corporate Show. In 1999 he choreographed a 6 minute dance-drama for the World Irish Dance Championships.
The Niall O'Leary Irish Dance Troupe have performed at the St. Patrick's Day Ball in the Plaza Hotel, Manhattan, the American -Ireland Fund dinner, AIB corporate dinner, 'Worldfest '99' in Rockland County, Union Square in Manhattan and in summer 2001 did a hugely successful tour of Japan, performing in such prestigious venues as Osaka Festival Hall.
The school performs regularly at festivals and fairs, such as the New York City Irish Dance Festival and Woodside Street Fair.
Niall O'Leary performs regularly as a solo artist, in duet with Darrah Carr, and with various acts such as Natalie MacMaster, Cherish The Ladies, The Prodigals, The Andy Cooney Band, Atlantic Wave, The McCabes and Mick Moloney's Green Fields of America.
He is in constant demand as a choreographer and master instructor and conducts regular workshops around the US, Canada, Ireland Japan and Mexico. He has made a CD and an instructional video in Irish step dancing entitled 'Cuts from the Kitchen'. He is the founding chairman of Ull Mor CCE, the Manhattan branch of Comhaltas.
Andy Irvine has been hailed as "a tradition in himself", musician, singer and songwriter. From Sweeney's Men in the mid sixties to the enormous success of Planxty in the 70s, and Patrick Street, in the 80s, Andy has been a world music pioneer and icon for traditional music and musicians. Few others can equal his repertoire, Irish traditional songs, dexterous Balkan dance tunes, and a compelling canon of his own material that defies description.
In his two years with Sweeney's Men, the group ignited an interest in traditional Irish music that survives to this day. Their successful singles, "Old Maid in the Garret" and "The Waxie's Dargle" landed at the very top of the Irish Hit Parade.
Andy left the band in 1968, and made his first trip 'way out yonder', traveling by 'the sunburnt thumb' in Bulgaria, Romania and Yugoslavia, earning his living as a street musician and absorbing the musical traditions of the Balkans. Returning to Ireland, Irvine united with Christy Moore, Donal Lunny and Liam O'Flynn to form Planxty, fanning the flames of Irish Traditional Music well into the next generation.
Planxty took a break in 1976 and Irvine worked and recorded with Paul Brady, making the classic album "Andy Irvine & Paul Brady". After a brief time with De Dannan, he rejoined the reunited Planxty from 1979 until its breakup in 1983. Andy's his first solo album, "Rainy Sundays ... Windy Dreams", followed, as well as "Parallel Lines" a duo album with the great Scots troubadour, Dick Gaughan.
Never one to rest on his laurels, Andy formed Mosaic, a pan-European band that included Donal Lunny and Hungarian singer Marta Sebestyen. After one blissful summer traveling through Europe with this band, Andy returned to solo and duo work. This work soon grew into Patrick Street, featuring Kevin Burke (Bothy Band), Jackie Daly (De Danaan) and guitar maestro Arty McGlynn.
Patrick Street, originally billed as Legends of Irish Music - one of the few times such hoopla was accurate, recorded three albums from 1987 to 1990. Andy then recorded his second solo album, "Rude Awakening", and created the hugely influential "East Wind", an album of Balkan music, produced by Bill Whelan and featuring Davy Spillane on Uilleann Pipes. Patrick Street regrouped in 1993 with Kevin, Jackie, Andy, and Ged Foley. To date Patrick Street has released eight recordings, all on the Green Linnet label.
Early in 2002, Andy drafted some long-time musical friends and formed his "dream band" for a one-off tour of Australia. Calling themselves Mozaik, reminiscent of the earlier cross-genre group, Andy was joined by Donal Lunny, Dutch guitarist Rens van der Zalm, Hungarian bagpiper Nikola Parov and American fiddler Bruce Molsky.
October 2002 saw the release of Patrick Street's Street Life, arguably their best ever. It showcases an ecumenical approach, while never letting go of the tradition that binds these amazing musicians, all at the very top of their game. Although an integral part of the finest Irish bands of our time, Andy Irvine continues along the road he set for himself so long ago - a vibrant career as a solo artist in the old style, a teller of stories and maker of music.
In 2004 Planxty reformed briefly and played a series of sell out shows in Vicar Street, Dublin, which fans and friends alike are still talking about.
Dónal Lunny has been at the cutting edge of the evolution of Irish music for more than thirty-five years and is generally regarded as having been central to the renaissance of traditional Irish music in that time period. Born in Tullamore, then moved to Newbridge, County Kildare, as a teenager he joined a band called Rakes of Kildare, with Christy Moore. Lunny's Emmet Folk Group and Michael and Brian Byrne's Spiceland Folk Group joined forces to form The Emmet Spiceland. Their debut album 'The First' was released in 1968. They were a vocal harmony group and reached number one in Ireland with the single "Mary From Dungloe".
In 1971 he played on Prosperous, the first album by Christy Moore. The musicians from Prosperous assembled in 1972 under the name Planxty. The band became a leading proponent of Irish traditional instrumental music for the next ten years. In 1975 Lunny left them to form The Bothy Band, playing guitar and bouzouki. They disbanded in 1978. Lunny became a session musician on Davey and Morris, the first album to feature Shaun Davey. Lunny then got together with Christy Moore again in 1981, to form Moving Hearts. Another founding member was the young uilleann piper, Davy Spillane.
When Moving Hearts broke up in 1985, Lunny diversified. He learned keyboards and mandolin and became a producer. He played on several Christy Moore albums, and was a producer and session musician on Kate Bush albums. He played bouzouki and bodhrán on Shaun Davey's Granuaille. He played on the soundtrack of the film This Is My Father and the TV program "The River of Sound".
He was the producer of Bringing it all Back Home. He produced albums for Paul Brady, Elvis Costello, Rod Stewart, Indigo Girls, Sinéad O'Connor, Clannad and Baaba Maal. He appeared on compilation albums - Gathering (1981) and Common Ground (1996). He pushed new boundaries with the his band Coolfin (1998) which included uilleann piper John McSherry. He appeared at the 2000 Cambridge Folk Festival, and the album that commemorated it. In 2001 Lunny collaborated with Frank Harte on the album My Name is Napoleon Bonaparte.
As an arranger he has worked for The Waterboys, Fairground Attraction and Eddi Reader. Journey (2000) is a retrospective album. In 2004 Lunny was part of the reunited Planxty who performed a series of sell out shows in Dublin's Vicar Street. Dónal Lunny is married to Japanese musician Hideko Itami, a member of the musical group Soul Flower Union. The couple now make their home in Okinawa, Japan.
Brendan Begley & Sons
West Kerry native Brendan Begley (Breandán Ó Beaglaoich) is one of Ireland's most renowned button accordionists, melodeon players and singers. Brendan plays the slides and polkas beloved by Kerry dancers with unequalled energy and flair, but can also entrance an audience with soulfully delicate renditions of classic songs in Irish or English.
Brendan Begley comes from a family background steeped in the rich Kerry traditions of music, song, dance and storytelling.
He is highly regarded for his skills as an accordion and melodeon player and singer - these aspects of his artistry are well represented on his two solo albums.
Brendan has recorded with The Chieftains and has appeared on television, radio and at live concerts throughout Europe and the USA. Brendan presented TG4's traditional Irish music programme Geantraí for about 10 years and is a member of the popular traditional bands Beginish and The Boys of the Lough.
His sons Breannainn, Concubhair and Cormac carry on the tradition passed down to them from their father and grandparents and are regular seen playing in sessions as both solo artists and with their father and uncle Seamus Begley.
Reg Hall is a revered musician and musicologist.