Andy Irvine

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 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.

Pre-Order: Live in Telemark

by Andy Irvine & Lillebjørn Nilsen

  • Cover: tapestry “Gardian Valkyrie” by Borghild Georgine Kraus 1915-1982.
  • 1.Jenta i Chicago (The Girl in Chicago) 
    2.Come to the Bower 
    3.Alexander Kiellands plass 
    4.Stewball and the Monaghan Grey Mare 
    5.Hav og himmel (Ocean And Sky) 
    6.My Heart’s Tonight in Ireland 
    7.Valle Auto og Bensin (The Gas Station Song) 
    8.A Prince Among Men 
    9.Danse ikke gråte nå (Dance Do Not Weep) 
    10.Fort gjort å glemme (Easy To Forget It) 
    11.Patrick Street Halling (Jenta Med Garden) 
    12.Vidvinkel-stev (The Photographers) 
    13.Håvard Hedde/Jig 
    14.Martinmas Time/Hornpipe (Little Stack of Wheat)
    15.Ola Tveiten

    about

    Lillebjørn Nilsen and Andy Irvine had known each other for about 17 years when they met at the Telemark Festival back in 1994, what they both had dreamt about became a reality. Their collaboration resulted in an exhilarating concert. The live recording is finally released as an album in June 2021.

    If it hadn’t been for the invitation from the Telemark Festival, 17 more years might have gone by.
    “We got together this summer when I visited Dublin, but decided that there was no rush to practise, since we had so much to talk about. Today was the first time we really sat down and went through our material.” Lillebjørn Nilsen said back then, before starting the concert with one of his own songs, “Danse, ikke gråte nå”.

    The album is filled with a superb variety of songs, both serious and humorous, characterised by two performers in top form. Norwegian and Irish folk music suit each other admirably.
    “We were on the same wavelength from the moment we met.” Andy Irvine also said back then. And that Saturday this common wavelength gave the audience an unforgettable experience.

    The two troubadours complement each other perfectly, musically as well as thematically. When Lillebjørn Nilsen sings about the Norwegian emigrant who became “The Girl in Chicago”, Andy Irvine counters with the homesick Irish emigrant in “Indiana”.

    Lillebjørn Nilsen is a Norwegian singer, songwriter and folk musician. In total he has five Spellemannspriser (Norwegian Grammy’s) both as a solo artist and as a part of bigger groups. He is often mentioned as Norway’s “Folk King”.

    Andy Irvine is known as one of the greatest Irish singers and songwriters and is referred to as “a tradition in himself”. He is also well known for being at the helm of such legendary bands as Planxty and Sweeney’s Men. 

    credits

    releases June 18, 2021

    Andy Irvine: vocals, harmonica, mandola and bouzouki (string instruments built by Stefan Sobell)
    Lillebjørn Nilsen: vocals, willow flute (seljefløyte), guitar (Gibson L-00 ca 1930) and Hardanger Fiddle (The “Bente” by Sverre Sandvik. Given to Lillebjørn by Tinn Municipality, Telemark, as Solprisen, The Sun Prize.)

    Cover: tapestry “Gardian Valkyrie” by Borghild Georgine Kraus 1915-1982.
    Telemarkfestivalen, 11.-14. August 1994
    On site recording, Theatre Gulbring, Bø Telemark, Norway.
    Magic wand and remix: Audun Strype, Strype Audio, Oslo Norway 2020

    pre-order

    Pre-order now in digital download or CD formats on Andy’s Bandcamp