Traditional Irish Music Seamus Walshe - Clare Accordian Traditional Irish Music
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Seamus Walshe-Traditional Irish Music
Seamus Walshe - Traditional Irish Music

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Traditional Music of Ireland on Button
Accordion $25.00 | EUR 20.00


Early Influences

Seamus Walshe-Traditional Irish MusicSeamus Walshe - Traditional Irish Music

Seamus Walshe-Traditional Irish MusicMy very first introduction into the world of traditional Irish music were the house dances in my native Co. Clare. These dances died out in the late fifties/earssly sixties but were the main source of entertainment in the forties and fifties. A musician or two would be invited to play at a house and people from the surrounding village and coutryside were invited. Porter from a wooden barrel was provided, as well as food, and people danced until the early hours.

Josie Mooney, a very good fiddle player usually provided the traditional Irish music in our house which was located in the coutryside just outside Mullagh Village in West Clare. Josie was a great lover of cats and kept at least 30 in his thatched house in Mullagh Village. Our house was always a great house for music and my uncle was always inviting musicians and transporting them in his van from all parts of west and north Clare to play at our house.

Among the musicians I remember coming to play was Leo Gorman, a great traditional Irish music accordion player from Miltown Malbay who emigrated to England at a young age. Willie Callanan, a concert flute and brilliant tin whistle player from Quilty, Michael Kelleher, a great fiddle player from Ennistymon and Paddy Killoughery, a great fiddle player from near the Cliffs of Moher were all regular players at our house. I listened a lot to Mrs Crotty, the great concertina player from Kilrush and the legendary Willie Clancy and many more. I was facinated as a boy by Bernie Normoyle who had a magical touch playing marches on the tin whistle and Joe Cunneen, another great tin whistle player from Quilty who used to travel and play at all the cattle fares in West Clare. There were three other great tin whistle and flute players from around the Quilty area namely John Fennell, J.P. Downes and Michael Falsey.


Seamus Walshe-Traditional Irish Music

I played a lot and won many competitions in the seventies with Gus Tierney who was the mainstay of the famous Kilfenora Ceili Band and regarded by many as the greatest ever bands man. I also moved from West Clare to Galway where I met and was taught to play the accordion by Tommy Coen. Tommy was a great fiddle player and composer from the Ballinakill area of east Galway. Among his many compositions is the well known reel Christmas Eve. I very soon met and played with Joe Burke, the great Loughrea accordion player, as well as Paddy Fahy, the legendary fiddle player and composer. I was fortunate to have played with and spent a lot of time with Joe Cooley before he died. The fiddle has always been my favourite instrument and I have based my style on the fiddle. The fiddle players who made the greatest impression on me were my teacher Tommy Coen, Seamus Connolly the great fiddle player from Killaloe and Sean McGuire.

Seamus Walshe-Traditional Irish Music

Seamus Walshe-Traditional Irish Music

I am related to Willie Clancy through my late mother Margaret whose maiden name was O'Connor. I frequently met Willie at Friel's pub in Miltown Malbay and he always insisted on me playing a few tunes for him. This always amazed the late Maisie Friel as it was well known that Willie Clancy did not rate the accordion very highly. When Willie Clancy was alive, he never got very much recognition or appreciation in Co. Clare which is sad considering the piping and musical legacy that he has left.

Seamus Walshe-Traditional Irish Music

Copyright 2001 Seamus Walshe.

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