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“We do a wide variety of things,” explains guitarist/bassist Tom Canny when asked about the variety of sounds on the CD.
“The first part of our show is acoustic and the second part is electric. We do some traditional stuff, rock stuff and originals. Our basic influences are folk.
The Irish emigrants who left the old country in the 20th century certainly needed picking up especially if they landed in the depths of the Depression in the 1930s and working hardscrabble lives right up to the 1960s before the gates for the Irish were closed in the U.S.
One particular musician with a steely and visionary personality was just the ticket for dealing with the Irish emigration blues, and she built one of the most important family acts in Irish music history. We are talking about Annie Burke McNulty and her children Eileen and Peter, otherwise known as the McNulty Family.
Born in 1887 in Kilteevan, Co. Roscommon, Annie Burke first performed in concert in 1907 before deciding that America was her destiny when she left for Massachusetts in 1910.
It is easy to overlook some very important aspects when faced with so many names and talents plying the seasonal boards, but sometimes it is important to take a step back and reflect on how all this great Irish music comes about.
The subject this week is another family, the Vallelys of Co. Armagh, that has my attention, seeing as the three sons, Niall, Cillian and Caoimhin, who make their money through music, are performing in upcoming shows around the country.
Down through the ages traditional Irish music has relied on many factors to help it through some of the darkest times and challenges and even indifference by general populace in Ireland.
One of the core means of passing it on from one generation to the next exists in the family unit where the music is as close to heart as it is to the hearth of the home place. The warmth of fireside music and its connection to Ireland’s rural humble roots has proven to be one of the strongest bonds and assets to Mother Ireland that its cultural heritage has ever produced.
It flows fluidly in the bloodlines of the diaspora no matter where it may roam, and the Boyle family of Co. Donegal is one of its most striking examples based on two CDs released at the close of 2010 and into 2011.