Andy Irvine celebrates Woody Guthrie at the NCH

Updated / Friday, 1 Oct 2021 18:21

On 2nd October, Andy Irvine presents his Woody Guthrie Project at the National Concert Hall with Rens van der Zalm. Below, Andy talks about the influence of Woody, his correspondence with the folk icon and what people can expect from his NCH show.

I spent my early youth searching for the music I knew existed somewhere, the music that would lift my soul. I didn’t find it in my mother’s cracked and scratched collection of musical comedy 78s and I didn’t find it when Bill Haley & the Comets came to Europe in 1956. I nearly found it in the early 45 rpm singles of Rhythm & Blues recorded by the likes of Fats Domino. But…not quite. I found it for a short time with Lonnie Donegan and the Skiffle bands that proliferated a little later and on the sleeve of one of Lonnie’s early EPs I first saw the name that was to motivate me through my life—Woody Guthrie.

Woody Guthrie, pictured in 1940

I found an album, oddly titled More Songs by Woody Guthrie and Cisco Houston as it was the only one available. At home I placed the stylus on the first track and as the needle picked up the very first sound of Columbus Stockade a tingle went down my spine. The instrumental intro was followed by an Oklahoman voice, singing, “Way down in Columbus Stockade, want to be back in Tennessee”. And I knew I had found my treasure!

The notes on the back of the album gave nothing away as to who these two men were; I knew they were American, but the world was a much larger place in those days, and I could find no further information. Were they alive or dead?

The notes on the back of the album gave nothing away as to who these two men were; I knew they were American, but the world was a much larger place in those days, and I could find no further information. Were they alive or dead?

Not long after that, somebody introduced me to Pete Seeger and he told me about Woody being incarcerated in Greystone Park Psychiatric Hospital in New Jersey. Finally, I was able to make contact. Unfortunately, Woody was unable to hold a pen by this time as he had inherited, full blown, from his mother, the genetic disease which was at that time called Huntingdon’s Chorea and had little or no control over his limbs.

Letters were written on his behalf by a lady who would take him out of the hospital at weekends to be entertained by his friends and admirers.

https://embed.spotify.com/album/4S2lUeHgZEvtsiR8OfCkTV

I’ve always been so proud of the fact that Woody and I were friends in this fashion. I began to record songs on tape for Woody and one letter from Sid Gleason, told me how he would sing along with me.

As the years rolled by and Woody died in 1967, I discovered traditional Irish Music and also started writing my own songs, a lot of them very much in Woody’s style.

It has been one of the plus moments of this pandemic that I have had a lot of time to come back to Woody’s songs and in the last year, I have begun to record an album of his songs with the help of a grant from the Arts Council.

Watch: Never Tire of the Road – Andy Irvine salutes Woody Guthrie

I’m delighted to showcase some of these songs at the NCH with my old friend and brilliant musician, Rens van der Zalm. The repertoire that we will be presenting is largely less well-known songs of Woody’s and will represent some historic moments in American history that may well be new to the audience.

Songs about Tom Mooney, whose parents were Irish, and who was wickedly and wrongly convicted of setting off a bomb at a parade in San Francisco, Henry Wallace, who was nearly President of the USA after FDR died in 1945 and who stood for President in 1948, a song about Charles Lindbergh and “The America First” committee who wanted to keep US out of the second World War – until Pearl Harbour intervened.

Andy Irvine presents his Woody Guthrie Project at the National Concert Hall, Dublin with Rens van der Zalm On 2nd October, as part of the Tradition Now festival – find out more here.

Andy Irvine – Gigs aplenty! IRE / UK / GER / NL

SEPTEMBER 2021

Andy’s back on the road! Never Tire!

GIGS in IRELAND

Fri 17.Dolan’s, LimerickGet Ticket
Sat 18.The Doolin Sessions @Hotel DoolinGet Ticket
Sun 19.Carlingford Heritage Centre, Carlingford w/Zoë Conway & John McIntyreGet Ticket
Tue 21.The White Horse, Ballincollig w/Dónal LunnyGet Ticket
Fri 24.The Hot Spot Music Club, Greystones – Reschedule to October 22Get Ticket
Sat 25.- Sun 26.Hibernacle Presents “Meet Me At The Castle” @Claregalway CastleGet Ticket

OCTOBER 2021

SOLO TOUR in UK

Sun 3.Laugharne Weekend Festival, West WalesGet Ticket
Tue 5.Live at the Star, GLASGOW – PostponedGet Ticket
Thur 7.Live at Sam’s, SHEFFIELDGet Ticket
Fri 8.Blaxhall Sessions, BLAXHALLGet Ticket
Sun 10.The Irish Cultural Centre, LONDONGet Ticket
Mon 11.The Garret Sessions, @TADS Theatre, TODDINGTONGet Ticket
Tue 12.Kitchen Garden Café, BIRMINGHAMGet Ticket

GIGS in IRELAND

Fri 15.Cyprus Avenue, CorkGet Ticket
Thur 21.Spiegeltent, WexfordGet Ticket
Fri 22.The Hot Spot Music Club, GreystonesGet Ticket

ANDY IRVINE & PAUL BRADY “A Celebration Of A Classic Album”
featuring Dónal Lunny & Kevin Burke

-ALL ORIGINAL TICKETS REMAIN VALID-

Sun 17.Cork Opera House, Cork – Reschedule to 24th January 2022Get Ticket
Wed 20.Royal Theatre, Castlebar – Reschedule to 30th January 2022Get Ticket
Thur 21.Vicar St, Dublin – Reschedule to 31st January 2022Get Ticket
Fri 22.Vicar St, Dublin – Reschedule to 1st February 2022Get Ticket
Sun 24.Perth Concert Hall, Perth – Reschedule to 26th January 2022Get Ticket
Mon 25.Waterfront Hall, Belfast – Reschedule to 28th January 2022Get Ticket

SOLO TOUR in GERMANY & NETHERLANDS

Thurs 28.Katholische Kirche, HattingenGet Ticket
Fri 29.Heimathaus, Rotenburg/WümmeGet Ticket
Sat 30.Kleinkunstbühne, MeissenGet Ticket
Sun 31.Haus Schulenburg, GeraGet Ticket

NOVEMBER 2021

SOLO TOUR in GERMANY & NETHERLANDS

Tue 2.Kulturmanufaktur Gerstenberg, Frankfurt/OderGet Ticket
Wed 3.Alter Gasometer, ZwickauGet Ticket
Thur 4.ufaFabrik, BerlinGet Ticket
Fri 5.Osdorf Heidbarghof, HamburgGet Ticket
Sat 6.Künstlerzeche Unser Fritz 2/3, HerneGet Ticket
Sun 7.Fletcher Hotel-Restaurant Boschoord, OisterwijkGet Ticket
Mon 8.Irish Folk Club im Stemmerhof, MünchenGet Ticket
Tue 9.360°Gasometer, PforzheimGet Ticket
Wed 10.Folk im Feuerschlösschen, Bad HonnefGet Ticket
Fri 12.Pumpwerk, HockenheimGet Ticket
Sat 13.Club Kuckucksei, NürtingenGet Ticket
Sun 14.Venue-TBA, BüdingenGet Ticket

Happy 79th Birthday, Andy Irvine!

“Happy 79th Birthday, Andy Irvine! To celebrate, we’re revisiting a classic interview with the legendary Irish musician – originally published in Hot Press in 1980.”

read the full interview over on hotpress.com

STREAM: Solidarity for Palestine – 31st May 2021

Musicians’ Union Of Ireland & SIPTU announce livestream gig in aid of Gaza

The concert will be broadcast on Facebook and Youtube on May 31st from 8pm, with proceeds being donated to MECA (Middle East Children’s Alliance).

Musicians’ Union Of Ireland and SIPTU have organised a livestream ‘Gig for Gaza’ concert, set to raise vital funds for children’s medical aid in the region.

Supported by the Palestinian Embassy, ‘Gig for Gaza’ will feature special performances and appearances from Palestinian rap sensation MC Abdul, Frances Black, Harry Bradley, Paul Anderson, Francy Devine, Andy Irvine, Róisín Elsafty, John Kelly, Aoife Kelly, Charlie le Brun, Sean McGinley, Sean McKeon, Niamh Parsons, Graham Dunne, Ann Russell, Ciara Taaffe, and Éoghan Ó Ceannabháin.

All proceeds will be donated to MECA (Middle East Children’s Alliance) to aid the youth of Gaza.

Details of how to donate will be carried on the broadcast and contained in a Facebook Event page.

“Thanks are due to the musicians and actors who are taken part and freely giving their talents – a tremendous commitment to the Palestinian cause. Lockdown has meant that in most cases, musicians and other workers in the arts have been denied any opportunity to perform, engage with an audience or earn any income,” a press statement says.

Trad/roots: Andy Irvine and Paul Brady Waterfront concert is one to look forward to

Things seem to be starting to get up and running again music-wise, and what better way to return to gig-going than in the company of Andy Irvine and Paul Brady performing their most celebrated collaborative recording live?

Andy Irvine and Paul Brady will perform at the Waterfront Hall in Belfast on October 25

Robert McMillen14 May, 2021 01:00

THE boys are back in town. Yes, Andy Irvine and Paul Brady are heading to Belfast’s Waterfront Hall on October 25, to again celebrate their eponymous classic of Irish folk song and music.

In the same way that nearly every household in the free world had The Eagles Greatest Hits, Bridge Over Troubled Waters and, er, Tubular Bells in their LP collection during the 1970s, folk fans had the ginger mop of Brady and the toussle-haired and bearded Irvine look out at them from the famous blue cover with a “wait till yez hear this” look about them.

Indeed, the pair had created new clothing for the Irish repertoire, taking classics like The Streets of Derry, Mary and the Soldier and, of course, Arthur McBride, turning them into something that chimed with the mood of the nation as it was back then.

In May 2017 the duo decided, due to the album’s still immense popularity, to do an Irish tour of live shows marking the 40th anniversary of its release. So successful was it that it was repeated in 2018, taking it to sold-out events in Ireland, London and Prague with other performances planned for 2020.

However, a certain pandemic got in the way but 44 years since it first came out audiences are still hooked on the fabulous songs, beautifully adapted and passionately performed; so much so that, by popular demand, Aiken Promotions have just announced that the duo’s performances which had been planned for March 2021 in the Waterfront Hall in Belfast and in Vicar Street in Dublin are now being rescheduled to October. They’ve even added an extra date at the Cork Opera House.

The show features songs and tunes from the album and many other musical masterpieces that Andy and Paul have performed throughout both of their illustrious careers and, as on the previous tours, they will be accompanied by Dónal Lunny and Kevin Burke, both of whom were players on the original album recording, with Dónal also producing the record.

Tickets for the Waterfront gig cost £38 and are now on sale from waterfront.co.uk or you can call the Box office at (028) 90 334455.

The revised dates are Cork Opera House – Sunday, October 17 2021; Vicar Street, October 21 and 22 and the Waterfront Hall, Tuesday October 25 2021.

Original Tickets remain valid for the new shows.

source: irishnews.com