“From the outback of Australia, it is with great sadness that I write these lines on the death of Arty McGlynn…”

"From the outback of Australia, it is with great sadness that I write these lines on the death of Arty McGlynn, a great friend and a guitarist of magical proportions.
I first met Arty at a sound check in the Baggot Inn in about 1977 or 78, where Paul Brady and myself were playing once a month. He was very shy in those days and a little later, to hear him play guitar and pedal steel with such ability was a surprise.
Later again, in the Spring of 1982, Nollaig Casey, Arty and me rehearsed for a tour in Italy. My music was very complicated at that time and I was thrilled to find that Arty was well up for it.
I think we did a couple of tours in Europe and played in Ireland that year also. I have some recordings that I must dig out when I get home.
In March 1983, Dónal and Christy had left Planxty to concentrate on the success of Moving Hearts. Liam and I were determined to continue the band and the not very well remembered Planxty of 1983 was formed and rehearsed in Bill Whelan’s house in Dublin.
Arty, James Kelly and Dolores Keane joined Bill, Liam and myself and we did a tour of UK and then a tour of Ireland. That was the extent of it for some reason. The band quietly disappeared from view!
Arty was a part of Patrick Street in the late eighties and we toured USA and Canada every year with some success.
Kevin Burke, Jackie Daly and later John Carty all loved playing with Arty. He was definitely the number one accompanist of most traditional musicians.
My deepest condolences to his wife, Nollaig, their daughters and Arty’s sons."

Omagh-born Van Morrison guitarist Arty McGlynn passes away

Arty McGlynn and wife Nollaig Casey
Arty McGlynn and wife Nollaig Casey

Pioneering Omagh guitarist Arty McGlynn has passed away at the age of 75.

During a long career he became well-known for his original guitar work and collaborating with artists like Van Morrison, Enya, Planxty, Four Men and a Dog and wife, fiddle player Nollaig Casey.

McGlynn played guitar on Van’s critically acclaimed and commercially successful 1989 album ‘Avalon Sunset’.

He also played on 1983’s ‘Inarticulate Speech of the Heart’ and 1995’s ‘Days Like This’.

McGlynn was born into a musical family in Omagh in 1944 and quickly became involved in performing.

After initially learning the accordion he was gifted a guitar by his mother at the age of eleven.

He was playing professionally with bands by his mid teens and eventually went on the road touring with various musicians in the 1960s and 70s.

McGlynn was also in demand as a session musician for recordings with various artists.

His 1979 album ‘McGlynn’s Fancy’ is widely credited with bringing the guitar into the mainstream of Irish traditional music.

It led to greater prominence on the Irish musical scene and McGlynn became in-demand among traditional and folk musicians.

Arty McGlynn
Arty McGlynn

He also worked with names like Christy Moore, Frances Black, Paul Brady and John Carty.

McGlynn’s collaboration with wife Nollaig led to two well-received albums ‘Lead the Knave’ and ‘Causeway’ and their music was featured on the soundtracks for films ‘Moondance’ and ‘Hear My Song’.

In the wake of the 1998 Omagh bombing McGlynn was one of a number of local artists to perform at a concert to raise funds for the victims.

He was awarded a lifetime achievement awarded for his contributions to music by Irish language channel TG4 in 2016.

McGlynn is survived by wife Nollaig, two daughters and three sons.

source: Belfast Telegraph Digital


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