Recently, the award-winning Marie Reilly released her first album The Anvil. While the album solidifies her legacy as a premier Irish musician, Reilly displays a profoundly nostalgic element throughout the album, with careful attention drawn to her late father and his influential style. She talked to IrishCentral and discussed The Anvil in further detail.
[IrishCentral]: First, tell us a little about your musical background.
[Marie Reilly]: Well, I was born in Co. Longford in a home where there was music for breakfast, lunch and dinner. My father was a very well-known and respected fiddle player, originally from Drumreilly, Co. Leitrim. He taught me from the tender age of six. I was privileged to have him as my tutor, as he showed me the importance of sustaining the musical traditions of the Reilly family.
[IC]: And you have had quite a successful career.
[MR]: I'd like to think so. I've received numerous awards and honors in major championships. I also performed on RTE radio and television and with many of the "greats" in the Irish traditional scene.
[IC]: It seems as though your father continues to have a profound influence upon your career. Am I right by saying this, and is the album title a reflection of this fact?
[MR]: Absolutely. Not only was my father a great fiddle player, he was also a blacksmith and, as a young child, I spent a lot of time in the forge with him. He loved to whistle while he worked and I loved to lilt - it was a great little duo. At the end of every tune he would tap the anvil with a hammer - it had a lovely ring to it, quite fascinating to me as a child. The more I thought about these great memories the more I knew I had the perfect name for the CD.
[IC]: So, what did you hope to achieve with The Anvil?
[MR]: I feel it is very important that these rarely-heard musical gems, which have a very unique style of fiddle-playing, are made available to collectors and musicians and enjoyed by everyone.
[IC]: One of the tracks is described as having a Scots measure. Can you describe this in further detail?
[MR]: A Scots Measure is an unusual category, it is a halfway house between a reel and a hornpipe and has its own beautiful rhythm. In fact, the track is the first of its kind to ever be recorded.
[IC]: Has the experience of creating an album encouraged you to record another in the near future?
[MR]: Absolutely, it was a great experience and now that I know how things work, I will definitely think about making another CD very soon.
[IC]: And I believe all the proceeds are going to a good cause?
[MR]: Yes, to a registered charity in Ireland - the Irish Cancer Society.
[IC]: Well then, where can we purchase copies of the album?
[MR]: Many of the Irish merchants on McLean Avenue, in Yonkers, will have the CD in stock and it will also be available from cdbaby.com shortly.
[IC]: Will you essentially "go on tour" in an effort to promote it?
[MR]: I plan to have an Irish launch in Co. Leitrim in early September. Other than that, I have no immediate plans.
[IC]: Thank you again for taking time out of your busy schedule. And I'm sure that we'll be hearing from you again in the near future.
[MR]: You're very welcome, and I hope you enjoyed it.