Who inspired you

Who inspired you

I was just wondering who was it that inspired you to play and listen to ITM. Gerry O’Connor was the first bit of ITM that I heard and afer that I knew I was hooked. Even though I play the banjo I mostly listen to fiddle players. I couldn’t choose a favorite now because I have so many. Every player is unique in their own way.

Re: Who inspired you

My earliest memory of ITM is of a concert I was dragged to buy some friends in 1971 in Clonmel, Tipperary. Now at that time I was heavily into Bob Dylan, Joni Mitchell & James Taylor - & why not, they’re all brilliant! but this concert was the one & only Dubliners, & I was pretty sure I was not going to enjoy them at all. However, I took along my trusty tape recorder just in case & I remember enjoying the concert so much I wore out that tape. I was captivated by Luke & Ronnie’s singing of course, but the bit of the concert that stuck in my head, & which I played over & over again, was Barney’s Banjo solo. I’d no idea I was going to take up music five years later.

So I have to say that The Dubliners, & in particular Barney McKenna, were my earliest influence. Later came Planxty, but without that Dubliners concert, who knows if I would ever have taken up the music.

Thanks Barney.

I couldn’t begin to list all my influences since then, cause every time I go out I hear someone else who keeps me going.

Re: Who inspired you

I hate to say it, because from what I hear everyone hates it, but I really got my first inspiration from Lord of the Dance. Then I picked up the more traditional Ashley MacIsaac CDs and a Natalie MacMaster CD and I was hooked…

Re: Who inspired you

I was a guitar player for a local band. Most of the tunes, Irish or fiddle didn’t have a lot of place for flat picking and the Hammered Dulcimer players looked like they were having a LOT more fun than I was, especially in minor keys where the bass player and I mostly bounced around two chords and rolled our eyes at each other. I got a deal on a cheap hammered dulcimer and went to my first workshop in Evart Michigan about five years or so. One of the teachers was a guy named Rick Thum who started out showing us jamming etiquette then how to get into a jam session using scales and chords. Rick is a real patient guy owing to me actually trying to quietly tune while he was speaking and not once did he chuck something at me. In fact after the workshop he stopped by and encouraged me to keep trying. I had the chance last weekend to jam with him. I’m a HD teacher myself now and had the time of my life! Maybe as a test or Rick just having a bit of fun we started on a tune where the rules were to play the melody on the first verse only. The rest was freestyle improv. Talk about fun!

Jim

Re: Who inspired you

Andy Irvine got me hooked after a gig in the Lobby Bar in Cork, even though Gerry O Connor is without a doubt the best i’ve seen live, and i’ve seen nearly everyone in Ireland live at some stage.

On the subject of fiddle players i think Mairead Nesbitt’s album "Raining up" is brilliant.

Re: Who inspired you

My mother…. she used to ‘jig’ tunes by mouth. She was always doing that. When I was about 8 years old, I heard her doing it again in the kitchen while she was doing the dishes, and my curiousity got the better of me, and I asked her what "that" was. She said, "Nothing dear", and continued to jig these tunes. Most of them were tunes that she was improvising. She never seemed to do the same tune twice.

Mom never played any instruments, although she could sing quite well. She had good pitch, never sang flat, and she had a lovely soprano voice. When she started in on the jigs and reels, mostly jigs, she would get a great rhythm going, deedly, diddle, dum-de-dum,…

Years later, when I had started playing the fiddle for about a year, Mom and my grandmother and I went up through the Ottawa valley to visit some of her uncles and cousins. They were people that I had never met before. Every house had a fiddle!!!…. a few guitars, etc. I met one of her uncles, and I mentioned to him about how Mom jigs these tunes, and he told me that when Mom
was a little girl, she would spend her summers visiting relations in the Ottawa Valley, and she probably learned it at some of the house party jam sessions that were common then.

My Mom’s mom was a Garner, and her ancesters emigrated from Ireland. I am told that ‘jigging’ tunes is an Irish tradition, and that there are competitions in Ireland for this aspect of the tradition.
Personally, I am so many generations removed from Ireland that I
I have come upon this part of the tradition without the surrounding culture and it is difficult for me to put it into perspective. I would love to hear from those in Ireland who can tell me more about some of these traditions, especially about jigging tunes.

Scott Donaldson

Re: Who inspired you

A session. I went to a pub where there was a session running … and that was it.

Re: Who inspired you

i grew up around the music, under pub tables at session when I was a little un. I used to HATE it - If you told me back then that I would play in the future I never would have believed it. So I’d have to say my influence is my dad 😉

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Re: Who inspired you

I was only thirteen at the time and I thought Donal Lunny looked really cool on the back of the "Well Below the Valley" with his long hair. Twas vanity that got me into it. I hope I’ve grown up since (a bit at least)

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Re: Who inspired you

The recording that inspired me more is no doubt Joe Cooley’s "Cooley". I play the fiddle, yet I am literally enchanted by Cooley’s playing… That recording is so alive, you can hear the whole room, the pub and the people in it. If someone asks e "what Irish music is" I make them listen to this cd.
Btw, have you ever heard Anders Trajberg, a Danish player of Galway? He sounds like Cooley’s reincarnation…

Re: Who inspired you

What a great question!
6 years ago, I got the idea into my head that I wanted to learn to play "celtic harp". I had only a vague idea of what Irish music is at that time. I had a couple of Clannad CDs, and a couple of Patrick Ball and Alan Stivell CDs. I found my teacher Kathy DeAngelo by chance (fate?) when looking through the local Irish newspaper.
Going to Kathy’s and her husband Dennis’ for lessons is a very exciting experience, Even just listening in when Dennis teaches whistle or flute or guitar in the dining room is a learning experience in itself. I always show up early for lessons, so I can listen in. Kathy also is a multi-instrumentalist, and now 6 years later I am taking fiddle lessons as well.
I feel that Kathy and Dennis have inspired me to continue learning, and also I feel a part of something so much larger than just music lessons. I feel I am a part (albeit a small one) of a community—a little stream feeding into the great river of Irish music tradition. I hope someday I can become "good enough" to pass the tradition on as well!
-Andee

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Re: Who inspired you

In the early to mid 70s (my teenage years) during the backroll of the hippy culture I was hanging around with some people my mother didn

Re: Who inspired you

Matt Molloy, the "black" album with Donal Lunny. A friend from a band i was playing with gave it to me and it blew my mind. That led to *years* of buying and trying out whistles and fretting over the high cost of the "Irish flutes". Eventually, thanks to Brother Steve’s site, i started to "get" it. At about the same time, i bought my M&E flute, and the rest is history.

Re: Who inspired you

Almost 20 years ago, my friend handed me a bootleg tape copy of a regional band in Texas called Celtic Stone. Malcolm Smith was the Fiddler at the time. (I hope I am getting his last name right. I always new him by Malcolm.) I learned Morrisons jig from that tape. I thought it was awesome.

6 years later I picked up my violin and It became a fiddle. 3 years later I met Malcolm. He had made tremendous progress in the 9 years since I had heard that tape.

Two years later Malcolm passed on. He left with me some very fond memories and a great sadness at his departure. I still measure myself by his memory.

Thanks for starting this thread.

Mark

Re: Who inspired you

I got my first bodhran in 1980 from "Santa Claus". My dad is a good singer and guitarist - he had me listening to the Chieftains at a very early age and always built up the sound of Peadar Mercier’s drum into something almost mythical. My parents knew I was quite musical but they didn’t know where to send me for lessons. It happened that my mum was having some shoes repaired by Noel Fitzpatrick, a shoemaker in Clonard Street and he suggested sending me to the Clonard Music school run by Francie McPeake. I later found out that Francie and Noel didn’t see eye to eye, but still had a great deal of mutual respect for each other as musicians. Anyway, I went the following Saturday and was taught by two cousins Paddy McGreavy and Gerard O’Neill, one of whom is now a Sinn Fein councillor - never saw that coming! Three or four years later and I was a teacher there myself. I later taught myself to play the piano accordion. Biggest inspiration has to be the McPeake family as they often drove themselves to distraction trying to teach those kids, and of course Paddy and "Gerardy" who were so generous with their time. After that, Andy Irvine, Paddy Keenan and Mairt

Re: Who inspired you

I suppose it was my mother - when we were very young she made us listen to Claisceadail (Group singing of old traditional Irish songs) a weekly programme on the national radio - we didn’t have much in the line of trad Irish tunes on vinyl, probably because they were not available in Ireland generally in the late 40’s and early 50’s - in fact the artist I remember most was Jimmy Shand (Snr) accordian player and the leader of a Scottish Ceili Band. In the late 40s trad musicians were not regarded in good stead in Ireland - in fact many were openly derided and mocked at. So much so that many local musicians did not play publicly. Out of this grew Comhaltas Ceoltoiri Eireann(CCE), an organisation set up in my town to conserve and develop Irish Trad Music, Song and Dance with particular attention to the Harp and Uilleann Pipes. CCE has now spread world-wide with more than 400 branches from Tokyo to San Francisco; Perth (Australia) to Sardinia; all over England and Ireland and through the European countries also.
Our home was open to any and all musicians and many a traditional musician found food and lodgings there and many a welcome music session. We were brought around Ireland when young to the various Fleadhanna Cheoil (trad music festivals) and were introduced to many of the older generation of fiddle, flute, whistle and accordian players - people like Sean Ryan, Packie Russell, Vincent Tighe, Ned Stapleton, George Rowley, not to mention traditional singers like Geordie Hanna and Sheila Tim.
Since then the sheer scale of trad music contributions on CD and tape, on minidisc and web-based together with the focussed and locally generatted music sessions, classes, concerts etc still inspire me.

Re: Who inspired you

Hearing Jimmy Noonan at a house concert inspired me to get through a wrist injury and continue playing Irish flute. I had just started learning flute and wasn’t sure if I should continue, but I got through my injury (another long story). His playing that night was the most amazing music I had ever heard. He played straight from the heart and mesmorized me. After that concert, all I wanted to do was play my flute…..He is my favorite flute player and continues to inspire me.
Joyce

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Re: Who inspired you

Well, I’ve been thinking about this one for a while.

Was it Shannon Heaton? Was it Liz Carroll? I don’t think it was any one person in particular who inspired me to the music. I started because my dance teacher needed a fiddler for some St. Pat’s shows we were doing. I didn’t have a teacher, I didn’t have any idea of how to truly learn the stuff in any kind of traditional way. George Newland, our guitar player, knew more about the stuff than I did and showed me how to get round the stuff and gave me CDs to listen to, but couldn’t help with much else.

I guess you could say that it was the music itself and all the players who make up that music and who love it as much as I do that did it for me, experts or beginners or in-between alike, and I’ve been lost in the stuff ever since.

Zina

Re: Who inspired you

When I was around 18 or so, finding that I’d overdosed on psychedelia and prog rock, I started becoming attracted to a vague notion something which I called folk music - I think it was largely the vagueness and mystery of it which attracted me. I started trying to play a whistle, which had been lying on top of the piano for ten years or more (or had, in fact, probably rolled down the back and been retrieved several times over the years). I think the first ‘folk’ tunes I ever learnt were form an obscure English folk-rock band called Raindance and a tape of Hungarian zither music which I picked up on holiday with my parents in Budapest. A couple of years later at university, having learnt some tunes on mandolin, I made friends with somebody from Armagh, who was learning accordion, whistle and bodhr

Re: Who inspired you

The day I bought my violin (thinking classical, maybe some jazz or blues), I ran into a friend who mentioned that Natalie MacMasters was in town that night. I went, the violin changed into a fiddle, and that was it. Over the past two years, Paddy Glackin, James Kelly, John Doherty, Martin Brynes, Paddy Canny, John Wheelan and a host of others, have slowly sucked me over to the ITM side. The players on the wooden flute obession cds are sucking me in even deeper - yes, I bought a flute last week (M&E) from a friend and am currently driving everyone crazy with ‘gawdawfulsquealinglikeyouaretoturingalargecat’ noises (to quote one).

Re: Who inspired you

My tutors firstly Dougie Pincock (Battlefield Band), George Jackson (Ossian) and Keith Easdale (Calasaig). Then George and John Gaughan dragged me into Babbity Bowsters one saturday afternoon for the session……..and that was it……then the classes I was going got some free celtic connections concerts tickets…..the first was Lan de Cubel and Capercaille (with Marc Duff on whistles) and I was completely blown away!!! Now I am lucky enough to be surrounded by fantastic musician friends who inspire me constantly!!!! (even after a days drunkeness and they still play amazing!!)

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Re: Who inspired you

An elderly canon of Durham Cathedral who taught at the prep school I went to till I was thirteen: he would get several of us into a room with a piano for classes of group singing. The songs included Gilbert and Sullivan, which I came to like very much. There’s something of an ITM feel about some of Sullivan’s music - he was half Irish, after all. I got to appreciate a catchy tune.
At the end of my teens at Uni, I spent time with three other chaps all of whom played some instrument (violin, guitar, various early music instruments), and I badly wanted to do so myself. I attempted to sing and play the whistle, discovered folk clubs and sessions and folk/TM albums from then on, and tried to pretend I was all sorts of things I wasn’t in the process. But I think my own personal tradition comes from those early encounters with Gilbert and Sullivan.

Re: Who inspired you

the three people who inspire is francie mcpeake, francis mcpeake and patrick o’hare three spectacular uilleann pipers and whistle players from belfast