Monday, 9 November 2009

The Lecture by Dr. Gearóid Ó hAllmhuráin called The Indomitable Céilí Band

As part of the Catskills Irish Arts Week, Dr. Gearóid Ó hAllmhuráin gave a talk entitled "The Indomitable Céilí Band" and he decided to ask certain musicians to sit in and play as a band. Four of us had, in the past, played with famous bands of the early céilí band era--The Castle, The Tulla and The Kilfenora.

In the front row--from left to right--are Siobhán and Willie Kelly, Patrick Ourceau, Martin Hayes, Randal Bays, Sean Cleland and Catherine Mc Evoy; and in the back row are Gearóid Ó hAllmhuráin, Martin Mulhaire, Tim Collins, myself and Brian Mc Namara. Brendan Dolan is on piano, out of frame.

Here is something that is relative to this photograph. I bumped into Patrick Ourceau and Gearóid Ó hAllmhuráin while visiting with the late Barra Ó Donnabháin who lived near me in New York. While having a chat, Kieran Hanrahan's name came up and I told the story from many years ago at the Milwaukee Fest in the early 70s about the time Kieran turned to me in the van coming from the airport and inquired about my Co. Clare background. His mother had warned him, if he met me, to let me know that we were related and also to Paul Roache , the flute player, who is his first cousin. Gearóid chimed in to say that over the course of the last two hundred plus years various branches of our family tree have occasionally intertwined and so by extension... How nice to find my long lost musical cousins. With relatives like these we should form our own céilí band.

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