FolkWorld Issue 37 11/2008

News & Gossip

++ Paddy Moloney ++ John Martyn ++ Lynn Morris ++ Gordon Lightfoot ++ Ronnie Drew ++ Bernad Overton ++ Hector Zazou ++ Paddy Canny ++ Vincent Broderick ++ Harris Wulfson ++ Cliff Hall ++ Artie Traum ++ Muzsikas ++ Glasgow ++ Thames ++ Turlough O'Carolan ++ Fiddler's Green ++ David Rovics ++ Stephan Said ++ Up and Coming ++

   Christmas Surprise   

The shelves in the FolkWorld office are jam-packed; like it or not, we have to get rid of some CDs send in for review in the past 10 years.

So are you interested in folk, roots and world music from Austria to Wales and Australia to the US?

Competition closed!

Happy Birthday

Paddy Maloney

Paddy Moloney @ FolkWorld:
FW #7, #8, #8, #12, #13, #22

Paddy Moloney, * 01.08.1938, Donnycarney, Dublin, Ireland. When he was six, Paddy's mother bought him a tin whistle, and by the age of eight he started to learn the uilleann pipes from the great pipe master Leo Rowsome (-> FW#21, #26). Paddy often played with other musicians around Dublin and he even had a skiffle band at one point. In the late 1950s he met Seán Ó Riada (-> FW#28) and joined his folk orchestra Ceoltóirí Chualann. In 1962, Paddy brought Seán Potts, Martin Fay, Peadar Mercier, Mick Tubridy and Dave Fallon together to do a one time album called "The Chieftains" for Garech de Brún's Claddagh Records. From 1968 to 1975 he became a producer for the Claddagh label and supervised the recording of 45 albums in folk, traditional, classical, poetry and spoken word recordings. Then he and the Chieftains hit the road and went professional. Paddy never looked back, he led and developed the band into one of Ireland's most famous musical ambassadors. He is the primary composer and arranger of much of the Chieftains' music, and has also composed the scores for feature films such as "Barry Lyndon" and "Far and Away" (-> FW#37). For his work with the Chieftains and spreading Irish music throughout the world, Paddy Moloney was awarded an honorary doctorate degree of music from Trinity College Dublin.

John Martyn, * 11.09.1948, New Malden, Surrey, England. John Martyn (born Iain David McGeachy) is a British singer-songwriter and guitarist. Mentored by Hamish Imlach, Martyn's professional musical career began when he was seventeen, playing a blend of blues and folk that resulted in a unique style that made him a key figure in the London folk scene during the mid-1960s. By 1970 Martyn had developed a wholly original and idiosyncratic sound:
acoustic guitar run through a fuzzbox, phase-shifter, and echoplex. He also developed a new, slurred vocal style, the timbre of which resembled a tenor saxophone. Over a forty-year career he has released twenty studio albums and worked with artists such as Eric Clapton, David Gilmour, and Phil Collins. In February 2008, Martyn received the lifetime achievement award at the BBC Radio 2 Folk awards. The BBC website says of Martyn, "his heartfelt performances have either suggested or fully demonstrated an idiosyncratic genius." Though Martyn's right leg had to be amputated below the knee, Martyn continues to play music and tour.

Lynn Morris, * 08.10.1948, Lamesa, Texas, USA. Lynn Morris grew up in a small West Texas farming community. She began playing the banjo, and became the first person to twice win the coveted National Banjo Championship in Winfield, Kansas. She proceeded to build a remarkably varied and exciting career, performing full time throughout North America and Europe, as well as touring US military outposts. Lynn was the first woman elected to the board of directors of the International Bluegrass Music Association. Lynn has been voted IBMA Female Vocalist of the Year three times and seven times Traditional Female Vocalist for the Society for Preservation of Bluegrass Music in America.

Gordon Lighfoot @ FolkWorld: FW #28,

Gordon Lightfoot, * 17.11.1938, Orillia, Ontario, Canada. Gordon Meredith Lightfoot, Jr., is a Canadian singer and songwriter. As a teenager, he was influenced by 19th-century master American songwriter Stephen Foster, later by the folk music of Pete Seeger and The Weavers, Ian and Sylvia Tyson, and others. He came to prominence in the 1960s/70s with songs such as "Early Morning Rain", "If You Could Read My Mind", "Sundown" and "The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald". Mixing Canadian and universal themes, Lightfoot became one of the first Canadian singers to achieve real stardom in his own country without having to move to the United States. His songs have been recorded by Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Peter, Paul and Mary, Judy Collins, Richie Havens and The Kingston Trio. Bob Dylan called Lightfoot one of his favourite songwriters, when he would hear a Gordon Lightfoot song he wished "it would last forever."


Ronnie Drew

See article by Sean Laffey

Ronnie Drew (1934-2008). Ronnie Drew, the legendary Irish folk singer and musician, has died on 16 August 2008 at the age of 73. In the 1950s, Ronnie (born 16 September 1934 in Dun Laoghaire, County Dublin) emigrated to Spain to teach English and learn Spanish and flamenco guitar. When he returned to Ireland, he performed in the Gate Theatre and soon after went into the music business full-time. In 1962, he founded the Ronnie Drew Group with Luke Kelly, Barney McKenna and Ciaran Bourke, which later came to be known as The Dubliners. Luke Kelly was known for singing their soulful ballads and Ronnie Drew will be best remembered for his gravelly-voiced renditions of songs like 'Seven Drunken Nights'. Ronnie was a member of The Dubliners from 1962 to 1974 and from 1979 to 1995. Afterwards he pursued a successful solo career.

Ronnie underwent six months' treatment for throat cancer two years ago; his wife of more than 40 years, Deirdre, died last year. In February members of U2 joined fellow Irish musicians Sinead O'Connor, Shane MacGowan, Christy Moore and others to record a tribute song called 'The Ballad of Ronnie Drew'. All profits went to the Irish Cancer Society. Speaking at the time of the recording, U2's Bono said: "Ronnie is like the King of Ireland, and we are his subjects."

Con Kavanagh, barman at O'Donoghues pub in central Dublin, where The Dubliners started out, said that everybody gathering at the pub this Saturday evening was talking about Ronnie. "When you mention Dublin, you mention Ronnie Drew - the two just went together," he said. "Everybody loved him."

Bernard Overton (1930-2008). Bernard Overton passed away on 14 June 2008. Forty years ago, Bernard together with the help of Finbar Furey introduced for the first time in traditional music lower keyed whistles, most notably the low D.

Overton Whistles

Icon Movie @ Tribute to B. Overton

Low whistles have made a big effect on the sound of the music we hear today. There are many musicians and bands in the world that use these instruments, several instrument makers have started making it since. Bernard never stopped making whistles even up to the last days. The original Overton Whistles are today manufactured by Colin Goldie.

Paddy Canny (1919-2008).

Paddy Canny @ FolkWorld: FW#36
Irish fiddler Paddy Canny passed away on 28 June 2008, aged 89. Paddy Canny was born in Glendree, near Tulla in Co Clare, in 1919. In 1961 he married Philomena Hayes of Tulla, sister of P Joe Hayes, and thus is the uncle of fiddler Martin Hayes (-> FW#35). From the age of ten Paddy Canny was to be heard regularly at house parties, crossroad dances, weddings and ceilís. He co-founded the Tulla Ceili Band in 1946 and won the senior All Ireland fiddle championship in 1953. During the 1950s, he played the fiddle during live Radio Eireann broadcasts and in the following decade he performed on R.T.E. television. His rendition of the reel "Trim the Velvet" was the signature tune of the long-running RTE radio series "A Job of Journeywork". In 1959, with fiddlers P Joe Hayes, Peadar O’Loughlin and Bridie Lafferty on piano, he recorded the album "All Ireland Champions," the first LP of Irish traditional music and now regarded as a classic of Irish music. It wasn’t until he was in his late seventies that he made his first solo album "Paddy Canny - Traditional Music from the Legendary East Clare Fiddler" in 1997.

Vincent Broderick (1920-2008).
Irish flute player Vincent Broderick passed away on 7 August 2008. Vincent Broderick was born in 1920 in Carrowmore, Bullaun, near Loughrea in Co. Galway. In 1954 he won the All-Ireland flute competition performing one of his own compositions, and playing a copper-pipe flute that he had made himself. Broderick left Galway for Dublin in the early 1950s and became a committed member of the Pipers' Club in Thomas Street. He played with a number of céilí bands. He also was a respected flute and whistle teacher and won a TG4 Composer of the Year Award in 2003. His compositions have been played and recorded by musicians for several decades. In 1992, Comhaltas published "The Turoe Stone," a book containing 32 of his compositions with an accompanying tape.

Harris Wulfson (+2008)

Our dear musician comrade and friend, Harris Wulfson, died suddenly. We remember him fondly, for his sweetness with the violin and all else. His intellect and humor were tremendous yet unassuming. He had a great smile, endless enthusiasm, and an easy sense of irony. And he just loved music. Harris had a deep devotion to Yidishkayt, and also applied his talents to his many other interests, such as bluegrass, funk, rap, new and electronic music of types I am at a loss to describe. He could play le jazz hot as well as Irish tunes, Yiddish swing or Bulgarian 11/4, and imbue it all with gorgeous, fun spirit. His gifts could also be heard through mandolin, accordion, guitar, and however else he expressed his natural musicality. Many of our New York-area fans may remember Harris as our genial guest artist and outstanding soloist on Metropolitan Klezmer shows; he also appeared as a guest Klezbian on occasion. Harris had a special ear for music of Eastern Europe, and called certain parts of that region the Klez Belt. Anyone who has listened to our first two CDs "Yiddish For Travelers" and "Mosaic Persuasion" has heard Harris' violin stylings on several tracks where he was a featured guest. He was also a deeply principled, dapper, occasionally yet adorably spacey mentsh who was constantly open to learning. He has left us much too soon, but we are grateful for having known him. It is still very hard to believe he will not be here to play with us next time. May his memory continue for a blessing.
Eve for Metropolitan Klezmer

Hector Zazou (1948-2008).
Hector Zazou was a French composer and record producer who has worked with, produced and collaborated with an international array of recording artists, including Björk, Carlos Nuñez (-> FW#31), Suzanne Vega and Värttina (-> FW#27). Zazou first came to international attention in the 1970s as part of the ZNR duo with Joseph Racaille, where both played electric keyboards. His discography demonstrates his affinity for cross-cultural collaborations, and incorporated modern techniques and sounds in re-recordings of traditional material. The albums that he has released under his own name from the 1990s onwards are usually concept albums that draw from literary or folk sources and revolve around a specific theme. The collection of songs on each album assemble contributions from a diverse and global range of pop, folk, world music, avant-garde, and classical recording acts. Hector Zazou passed away on 8 September 2008.

Cliff Hall (1925-2008).
Cliff Hall passed away at his adopted home in Adelaide, Australia on 26 June 2008. Hall was born in Oriente Province, Cuba, of Jamaican parents, in 1925. During the Second World War, he came to the UK to serve in the Royal Air Force. He met a Scottish girl whom he married. While working on a building site in the late 1950s, he met musician Tony Davis. The two men joined forces with Hughie Jones and Mick Groves to form The Spinners. In 1962, they released their first album, "Quayside Songs Old and New," being a mixture of long-forgotten folk songs and new compositions. The record company was uncomfortable about promoting a multiracial group and put a cartoon on the cover, in which they all appeared to be white. Nevertheless, The Spinners became England's most popular acoustic folk group from the 1960s to the 80s. Affectionately known as the other Fab Four, the group produced almost 40 albums together. Hall's Jamaican background brought Caribbean songs into the group’s repertoire, and in concert he would play both the guitar and harmonica. They could turn the biggest concert hall into a sing-along, following the example of one of their heroes, Pete Seeger. Though many purists felt that their cheerful and entertaining performances of folk songs lacked the bite of the originals. In 1988, The Spinners disbanded, although there was the occasional reunion.

Artie Traum (1943-2008).
Artie Traum was a guitarist, producer and songwriter. Born and raised in the Bronx of New York, Traum became a part of the Greenwich Village folk music scene in the late 1960s. He produced and recorded on more than 35 albums, including The Band, John Sebastian, Richie Havens, Maria Muldaur, Eric Anderson, Paul Butterfield, James Taylor, Pete Seeger, David Grisman, and brother Happy Traum, among others. Traum also wrote numerous guitar instruction books, and hosted many video productions for his brother Happy's Homespun Tapes. During recent years, Traum enjoyed a small side career as a documentary filmmaker. Traum died on July 20, 2008, aged 65.

WOMEX 2008 Award for Muzsikás

Muzsikas; press pic

Muzsikás @ FolkWorld:
FW#9, #13, #23

WOMEX is proud to announce the winners of the 10th annual WOMEX Award for World Music. This year WOMEX has decided to present two WOMEX Awards, one to the Hungarian band Muzsikás and the other to the folk music department of the Sibelius Academy in Helsinki, Finland.

In their 35th year. Muzsikás is the group of artists who put Hungarian folk music on the international map. With their collaborations with Márta Sebestyén, and now in their work since she departed, they have been the foremost ambassadors for music from Hungary, with a special emphasis on music from Transsylvania. "Without Muzsikás, the Hungarian táncház (dancehouse) movement, the special Hungarian klezmer-revival and the bridge between Hungarian folk music and Béla Bartók's work would not exist," says Csaba Lokös, promoter of the world music stage at the Sziget Festival.

"If you want to hear Hungarian traditional music at its best then start with Muzsikás," says Songlines editor Simon Broughton. "They can play with the authenticity and energy of a real village band, but also make sense of that music for an international audience in a big concert hall. The international success of Muzsikás not only makes the music better known, but helps it survive at source as people realise that it has a value internationally."

Glasgow wins UNESCO City of Music Status

Almost 20 years after it held the title European Capital of Culture (1990), Glasgow has been confirmed as a UNESCO City of Music. The title sets the seal on Glasgow’s reputation for music, with the bid highlighting the city’s rich tradition of classical, pop and rock music, leading music venues and concert halls, and festivals such as Celtic Connections. The bid stated that in a typical week, an impressive 127 music events are presented in Glasgow. Additionally, music generates an estimated £75m (US$139m) to Glasgow's economy each year.

The bid to become a UNESCO City of Music was prepared by Glasgow City of Music based on the city’s:

The following cities enjoy UNESCO status:
Aswan (Craft and Folk Art)
Berlin (Design)
Bologna (Music)
Buenos Aires (Design)
Edinburgh (Literature)
Lyon (Media Arts)
Montreal (Design)
Popayan (Gastronomy)
Santa Fe (Craft and Folk Art)
Seville (Music)

  • local, national and international importance as a musical centre;
  • the historic and current importance of music to the city;
  • the outstanding excellence of its musicians and practitioners;
  • the depth, creativity and commitment of its policy both with regard to music itself, and also to music as a tool of social regeneration, improvement and education.

    Following the successful bid, the Glasgow City of Music (GCUM) organisation will be created "to improve its health, maximise its performance and ensure it seizes every opportunity to advance." Within the first year of receiving the title, GCUM aims to present a major event in Glasgow to celebrate the title and the city’s music.

    Glasgow joins only ten other cities as part of UNESCO’s world-wide Creative Cities Network. The Creative Cities Network was launched by UNESCO in October 2004. It is designed to promote the social, economic and cultural development of cities in both the developed and the developing world.

    Folk Songs of the Upper Thames

    The history web resource Folk Songs of the Upper Thames has been launched on 6 September 2008. The extensive collection of more than 1,000 song lyrics has been painstakingly transcribed by local enthusiast Chris Wildridge. The majority of the songs in the collection were originally collected by Wiltshire-born Alfred Williams (1877-1930). Apart from volumes of poetry and books on the Wiltshire countryside he published the "Folk Songs of the Upper Thames" in 1923. As he wrote in the preface to his book, "I had no time to obtain the tunes, my chief concern being to save the words before they had completely disappeared by reason of the death of the singers - chiefly the most aged of the villagers, male and female." Chris Wildridge said: "The songs Alfred Williams collected are the first to be published online in their entirety. This is an important contribution to the traditional songs of England and I am pleased to have been instrumental in bringing it about. These songs are everybody's songs and they deserve to be in the public domain."

    Launch of O'Carolan Trail in Mohill
    Turlough O'Carolan

    Turlough O'Carolan @

    The third in a series of trails in the Irish county of Leitrim was launched in May 2008. The newly signposted O'Carolan Trail marks significant locations in counties Leitrim and Roscommon that are associated with the great harper and composer, Turlough O'Carolan. The launch was part of the Mohill O'Carolan Weekend 2008, which consisted of music, song and dance over four days in various venues throughout the Mohill area. Following the trail launch, all those attending were invited to the very first conducted tour of the new O'Carolan Trail. As the bus travelled through counties Leitrim and Roscommon, Fr. John Quinn, P.P., Gortletteragh, gave a running commentary and Janet Harbison played the music of the harper at various locations along the trail.

    Sites include Coothall, where Turlough composed a piece in honour of Sir Charles Coote; Alderford House near Ballyfarnon the home of O'Carolan's patrons, the McDermott Roe family, and in whose honour he composed several pieces; Kilronan Cemetery where the harper is buried; another McDermott Roe house near Keadue, Greyfield House, where Turlough spent some of the happiest days of his life; Letterfine, the home of Squire Reynolds, where allegedly O'Carolan composed his first piece, Sheebeg and Sheemore. Eventually, O'Carolan's Cottage in Drumboy near Mohill, now a shed, and which tradition says was the house in which the harper lived after he married Mary Maguire, a Fermanagh woman. Here they raised a large family and kept 'open house' for musicians and performers who came from far and near.

    Fiddler's Green Awards
    Fiddler's Green Folk Festival
    Rostrevor, N. Ireland
    20-27 July 2008

    The Fiddler's Green Hall of Fame Award, designed by the late and much loved Rostrevor artist, Jim Sherry, is presented annually to a person or group who has made a significant contribution to the cause of Irish music and culture. In 2008 the Fiddler's Green Festival is delighted to honour one of the finest Irish female singers, Mary Black.
    2008 Mary Black
    2007 Sweeney's Men
    2007 The McPeakes
    2006 Cathal Hayden
    2005 Donal Lunny
    2004 Paddy Moloney
    2003 The Boys of the Lough
    2002 Ronnie Drew
    2001 Andy Irvine
    2000 The Sands Family
    1999 Finbar Furey
    1998 Altan
    1997 De Dannan
    1996 The Dubliners
    1995 Dolores Keane
    1994 The Clancy Brothers
    1993 Liam O'Flynn
    1992 Maire Brennan
    1991 Mick Moloney
    1990 Joe Burke
    1989 Tommy Makem
    1988 David Hammond
    1987 Sean Maguire

    Mary Black has long held the attention of followers of Irish music as one of the finest female vocalists in the world. Her distinguished career has spanned over 25 years, from her early days in Dublin folk clubs through ever escalating success, with seven platinum solo albums. So in 2008, which marks the 25th anniversary of Mary’s first solo album, the Fiddler's Gree Festival welcomes her to the Hall of Fame.

    The Fiddler's Green Creative Arts Award was devised to celebrate the year 2000. The renowned sculptor, Carolyn Mulholland was commissioned to create a piece in bronze to celebrate Rostrevor and the creative arts.
    2008 Pete Seeger
    2007 Steve Cooney
    2006 Ralph McTell
    2005 Michael O Suilleabhain
    2004 Tom Newman
    2003 Liam Clancy
    2002 Tony McAuley
    2001 John B Vallely
    2000 Seamus Heaney
    The Fiddlers Green Festival sets aside a special day each year to pay tribute to a major creative artist. The Creative Arts Award, which was first presented to Nobel Laureate Poet Seamus Heaney in 2000, will this year be awarded to the legendary American Folk Singer Pete Seeger.

    Pete Seeger, now 89, regarded as one of the most influential musicians and social activists in the world, has received many awards in his time but when hearing of the Irish tribute from his musician friend and Rostrevor resident Tommy Sands he was quietly happy. 'My great grandmother came from Ireland’ he said, ‘and I have long admired the musical tradition and widespread influences of that small but inspirational land'. Pete's grandson Tao, a wonderful singer songwriter, who has performed with Pete for many years was the festival's special guest. A new movie about Pete's life, "The Power of Music", did receive its Irish premier at the Festival.

    David Rovics,

    David Rovics @ FolkWorld:
    FW#23, #23, #26, #27, #29, #32
    David Rovics DIY Guide

    Singer-songwriter David Rovivs has written edited and eventually published a 64-page pamphlet called "Sing for your Supper: A DIY Guide to Playing Music, Writing Songs and Booking Your Own Gigs." Over the years, many people have sought advice on aspects of the craft of songwriting, finding gigs, organizing tours. David often felt bad about giving inadequate little bits of advice in the form of a couple paragraphs of an email or a short conversation. He says, Now you can all read the damn pamphlet! You can order a copy at the new PM Press.

    Review probably in the next FolkWorld issue.

    Stephan Said

    On 22 September, New York songwriter Stephan Smith celebrated the announcement of his decision to reclaim his Arabic name, Stephan Said, detailing his censorship before major label executives who insisted he could "never have a career in the U.S. with an Arabic name."

    Stephan Smith/Said @ FolkWorld:
    FW #26, #31
    Stephan also detailed his blacklisting for releasing free mp3's organizing for the Seattle and A16 demonstrations, and for being the first artist/intellectual to take a stance against the Iraq war in mainstream press.

    The concert at Joe's Pub debuted songs from Stephan's forthcoming album to be released in early 2009, with an all-star orchestra including Cindy Blackman, Rob Clores, Kevin Hunter, George Mitchell, Jane Scarpantoni, Yousif Sheronick, and horn legends Lenny Pickett, Howard Johnson, Art Baron and Earl Gardner. The show was a shout-out for cross cultural tolerance that will benefit an advocacy campaign for Iraqi refugees surrounding the album release. As part of that work, the concert was filmed for a music video for Stephan's re-interpretation of Mohamed Abdel Wahab's 1937 classic "Aheb Aisht Al Huriya" (I Love the Life of Freedom), being made by Award winning Pakistani film maker Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy and U.S. based documentarian Trish Dalton.

    Up and Coming ... Highland Gathering Peine

    Armagh, Northern Ireland; ft. Lúnasa, Liam O’Flynn & Catherine Ennis, Michael McGoldrick, At First Light, Ronan Browne, Robbie Hannan, Jimmy O’Brien Moran, Mick O’Brien, Tejedor, Anxo Lorenzo & Xosé Liz de Cea, Patrick Molard, Ivan Georgiev, Allan MacDonald, Brian MacNamara & Tim Collins, Dråm, Beòlach, Bagad Cap Caval, Giancarlo Parisi, Luigi Lai, Caramusa, Pere Joan & Manel Martorell, Jarlath Henderson & Ross Ainslie, Sean McKeon & Liam O’Connor, Jean Michel Veillon & Jackie Molard, Buille, Peter Browne, Dermot McLaughlin, Barnaby Brown, Na Tri Seudan, Cormac Breatnach, Tiarnán O Duinnchinn, Andy May, Brian Mullen, Brian Finnegan, Eamonn Curran & Martin Meehan

    15 Jan - 1 Feb 2009 - CELTIC CONNECTIONS
    Glasgow, Scotland; ft. artists from Aidan to Youssou

    27-29 Mar 2009 - CHILD & FOLKLORE FESTIVAL
    Clusone, Italy Muddance at Folkwoods 2004, photo by The Mollis

    22-28 Apr 2009 - folkBALTICA
    Flensburg & Sønderjylland-Schleswig, Germany; ft. focus on Denmark

    3-5 Jul 2009 - TFF.RUDOLSTADT
    Rudolstadt, Germany; ft. focus on Russia, the Lute, and Lower Saxony/Bremen

    14-16 Aug 2009 - FOLKWOODS FESTIVAL
    Eindhoven, Netherlands

    27-30 Aug 2009 - TØNDER FESTIVAL
    Tønder, Denmark

    More News in the German Issue!

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    © The Mollis - Editors of FolkWorld; Published 11/2008

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