Northern Tradition - Mary Mulholland
Mary Mulholland (RIP) & Friends - 1998
Firstly - humble appologies!
I missed out the last two tracks! (well it is 6.30am after all!)
I’m not sure how I can put this right, except by adding them on here:
15 - The Belfast Hornpipe.Trim the Velvet
16 - Jack Roe/The merry Sisters
Mary was a lovely lady indeed and a wonderful musician too & it was very fortunate indeed for us, that she undertook the making of this CD shortly before she was taken from us - far too soon.
Her many previous recordings only really feature her as an accompanying musicians.
However this CD gave us all a fine opportunity to hear Mary shine as a lead musician.
Anyone who had the privilage to play with Mary, especially in those wonderful Skerry Inn sessions high in the Antrim hills, will know that she was well able to lead a session, from her Piano stool - a real driving force in a session indeed!
I’ll let the sleeve notes give you an insight into this extraordinary lady and her amazing musical career:
“Her dancing fingers reach back a long way - to the forties - to the Carmichael brothers, Robbie & James, and their neice Lily Agnew, champion Irish dancer and future wife of Mary’s brother Vincent - in the Shamrock Ceili Band, who played weekly ceilidhs in and around Co. Antrim; this at a time when Radio stations didn’t care and TV stations weren’t born.
Next came the Dawn Ceili Band, Ballymena - led by fiddle player, the late John Christie - from 1955 until 1960.
Following this the Emeraldaires from Dromore, Co Tyrone led by Noel Hacket, a gentleman with great ambitions for the band and they recorded numerous radio programmes with Ceili House and RTE.
And finally, in 1961, she met the love of her life - the great Pride of Erin Ceili Band with whom she played from 1961 until they retired in 1985 after winning the All Ireland title in 1983 & 1985 and held the Ulster cup for 22 years!
And there were LPs, ‘Music of a Champion’ with Brendan McGlinchey, the Armagh fiddle player, and ‘The Wind that Shakes the Barley’ with Co. Antrim fiddler Jim McKillop, ‘Reels and Jigs’ with Seamus Tansey, that renowned flute player from Co. Sligo, ‘Cherish the Ladies’ recorded by Outlet in Belfast with Kathleen Smyth, fiddle and the late Peg McGrath, flute player from Co. Roscommon, the Coleman Country Ceili Band from Co. Sligo and so many, many more, too numerous to mention.
For this CD she gathered around her a group of friends, some old, some new:
Marie Heffron - Fiddle
Nial Mulligan - Fiddle
Jimmy McHugh - Fiddle
Martin McHugh - Bodhran
Dick Glasgow - Banjo
Sheena Heffron - Vocals
Francie Quinn - Fiddle
Ciaran Kelly - Accordion
Maurice Bradley - Fiddle
Leslie Craig - Piano Accordion
Dominic McNabb - Fiddle
A few years ago there was a celebration, held at the above mentioned ‘Skerry Inn’, of the life of Mary & three other local musicians, at which some photographs of some of her many friends were taken. To see a couple, visit this page: http://www.causewaymusic.co.uk/absentfriends.html