|Pic: Cindy Funk.|
When Andy Irvine plays and sings on the stage in Kilcullen’s Town Hall Theatre on November 27, this community will be treated to a performance from a true living musical legend, writes Brian Byrne.
OK, there is possibly a generation who might not know this born-a-Londoner from Irish and Scottish parents who became a foundation stone of developmental folk music in these islands. But, as one of the founder members of Planxty and a veteran gig compatriot to some of Ireland’s best-known performers, his early influences from Woody Guthrie’s music set him on a career of a breadth that few of the modern pop acts ever get the chance to achieve.
Since the 1960s he has collaborated with, in the Irish context, Sweeney’s Men — of which he was also a founding member — Donal Lunny, Paul Brady, Mick Hanly, De Danann, and the High Kings of Tara to mention but some. He has performed across Europe and the wider world, but made his music spiritual home in Ireland from 1962, merging the American travelling hobo music of Guthrie’s ethos with Irish themes expanded on by iconic performers such as Ronnie Drew and the Dubliners.
He is a classically trained guitarist, by no less than Julian Bream, but his interest in folk and country caused him to add harmonica, mandolin and bouzouki to his instrumental expertise. Now in his 70s, he is another who exemplifies the notion that artistry of any kind is timeless and enduring, and helps the artist keep the passion to endure long beyond the norm.
Tickets at €27.65 are available at Ticketmaster.ie, or notionally on the door on the night. If the 110 seats in the Town Hall Theatre aren’t sold out long before that, we don’t deserve to have him perform here.
He will be supported on the night by James O’Connor.