Patrick Street

“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

Archive Album Reviews: Patrick Street – On the Fly (2007)

Patrick Street – On the Fly – Loftus Music LM002; 47 minutes; 2007

A recent review of this album in the UK magazine Songlines referred to Patrick Street as a ‘Dublin band’, revealing not only the reviewer’s ignorance about a group which has never featured a Dublin-born member in its career of now twenty years and more, but a sheer lack of understanding of the derivation of the musical elements which have coloured this group’s recordings and performances since its inception.

On the Fly is the band’s first album since 2003’s Street Life, the first to feature John Carty (on fiddle, flute and banjo – though he’s been performing live with the band for several years now) and the last to include accordionist Jackie Daly, who only appears on two tracks. Indeed, following Jackie’s departure, Patrick Street must be the only Irish ‘supergroup’ whose members were all born in England (three in London and guitarist Ged Foley in Durham)! A ‘Dublin band’, Songlines?

This latest album very much follows the standard Patrick Street format. There’s a wide mix of various dance tunes (three sets of reels, including wonderful interplay between Kevin and John on Down the Broom/The Gatehouse Maid/Mulvihill’s, plus hornpipes, jigs and slip jigs, as well as a set of polkas with Jackie Daly’s box to the fore) and John’s own composition the air/jig Seanamhac Tube Station. Indeed there can have been no more joyous sound on a recent recording than the sheer swing and sway of the twin fiddles on Martin Wynne’s.

Andy digs deep into his repertoire for three songs: The Rich Irish Lady, learnt from a Peggy Seeger LP in the late 1950s; plus Erin Go Bragh, first heard in a Hull pub in 1964; and, Sergeant Small, a depression song gleaned from his many visits to Australian. As has become a matter of course, but really needs reiteration, there are few singers in the English-speaking world able to tap so fundamentally into the wellsprings of a song than Andy and these three song outings tremendously reinforce that fact. Additionally, there’s a rare outing for Ged’s vocal cords on an engrossing version of The Galway Shawl.

Lastly, those two concluding tracks with Jackie Daly provide a gorgeous reminder of the accordionist’s ability to spur a tune ever onwards into the deepest regions of the imagination and provide some of the slickest ‘tips’ you’ll ever hear in your life.

Ever enthralling, On the Fly is an essential purchase.

Geoff Wallis - 5th March, 2008

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CD Reviews: Patrick Street – On The Fly

‘On the fly’ usually denotes hurriedness, a quick-fix in a situation where time is limited. However, this On the Fly does not betray anything of moves made in-flight or constrained by time. On this, the eighth studio…

On the Fly – Loftus Music LM002

‘On the fly’ usually denotes hurriedness, a quick-fix in a situation where time is limited. However, this On the Fly does not betray anything of moves made in-flight or constrained by time. On this, the eighth studio album from Patrick Street, the music is measured out in a space which flows around, above and in-between the 47 minutes it takes to play through the twelve tracks.

More than being just another release, this album represents an important shift in the line-up of Patrick Street as it formally marks the departure of Jackie Daly. But in effect, Daly already recorded his last Patrick Street album with Street life (2002), featuring on just two tracks, quite appropriately.

As a replacement, John Carty adds a new dimension to the group’s sound. His fiddle, flute and banjo playing create interesting settings, counterparts and leads to Kevin Burke’s flowing bow.  In the tune selections Carty and Burke explore their shared musical background. While on well-roved paths – such as ‘Happy to meet Sorry to Part’, ‘Martin Wynne’s’ and ‘Down the Broom’ – their twin fiddles create a raw, direct sound that is often unnecessarily smoothed over in contemporary traditional recordings.

On the song front, Ged Foley makes a brave attempt at resuscitating the worn out ‘Galway Shawl’; it took a while, but it grew on me. As usual, Andy Irvine is reassuring in the regular consistency of his sound world. ‘The Rich Irish Lady’ is a fine example of his inventiveness with contrapuntal accompaniment. Indeed, on each of the four songs there is an interplay which makes full use of the four musicians.

Overall, the production creates a live feel. The studio is absent in that you only ever hear four musicians, albeit in an ideally balanced setting: it is a document of things as they are rather than a fiction created in the studio or on stage. Within Patrick Street is the present place of Irish traditional music as it is in the flesh; this music could happen in your house.

I don’t limit my enjoyment of the album to one track, but there is certainly one that stands out for me: the set of hornpipes, ‘The Long Acre/Cuz Tehans’. This is as good as it gets, temperately measured with notes falling into each other like dominoes, moving to form a design mapped out by the four individuals.Banjo and fiddle moving together forces a smile, but words only catch the sentiment on the fly: go and listen for yourself.

Published on 1 March 2008 - Rory McCabe


Archive: Review – Compendium – The Best of Patrick Street

Green Linnet GLCD 1207; 65 minutes; 2000

Distilling the essence of Patrick Street into one album would deter most compilers, but that’s the task the band’s Ged Foley faced with Compendium: The Best of Patrick Street (Green Linnet GLCD 1207). Patrick Street have always combined a subtle blend of musical diversity and tradition, while its members’ histories saw the band acquire ‘supergroup’ status on the release of their self-titled debut album  in 1986. This rich pedigree lies in the Sligo-inspired fiddle of Kevin Burke (renowned for his work with The Bothy Band and Micheál Ó Domhnaill), the Sliabh Luachra polkas and slides of Jackie Daly (De Dannan and Buttons and Bows) and the voice of Andy Irvine, pioneer of the bouzouki with Planxty. Original member Arty McGlynn has been at the forefront of Irish guitar players for thirty years, while the current incumbent, Ged Foley (ex-House Band) is also a notable exponent of his native Northumbrian smallpipes.

Compendium captures Patrick Street’s prowess on a stunning set of reels catalysed by virtuoso fiddle on Jenny Picking Cockles, and Daly’s vibrant accordion on The Newmarket Polkas, one of two previously unissued tracks. Irvine’s songs, whether traditional or self-penned, are well represented here by his paean to horseracing, Stewball and the Monaghan Grey Mare, with its Balkan-inspired backing, though a mawkish arrangement of Willie Taylor dissipates the vitality of this avenger’s ballad.

Patrick Street’s ‘signature tune’ and most noteworthy addition to the Irish canon, The Penguin Cafe Orchestra’s Music for a New Found Harmonium, is here too, albeit in a somewhat lacklustre live version.. Nevertheless, this is still a comprehensive introduction to the band’s back catalogue and Ged has almost managed to distil the pure drop!

 This review by Geoff Wallis was originally written for Songlines

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Archive: 27th Feb 1987 – Interview with Kevin Burke (Patrick Street)

Patrick Street: The Pluck of the Irish

“Someone once said that the Chieftains are pre-Beatles Irish music,” says fiddler Kevin Burke, “and that our bands are post-Beatles Irish music. There’s an element of truth in that.”

The “our bands” that Burke is referring to are De Danann, Planxty and the Bothy Band, the three great progressive folk groups that blossomed in Ireland in the ’70s. Following the lead of Bob Dylan and the Byrds in America and Pentangle and Fairport Convention in England, these Irish bands revitalized folk traditions with the more aggressive rhythms and lyrics of the ’60s.

Unfortunately, the bands proved rather unstable. The Bothy Band broke up for good in 1979, while Planxty and De Danann have been on-again, off-again affairs with constant turnover. Now, however, four alumni of these bands have joined forces as a group called Patrick Street, in hopes of reviving the tradition of progressive Irish folk bands.

The founding members of Patrick Street are Kevin Burke from the Bothy Band, singer Andy Irvine from Planxty, accordionist Jackie Daly from De Danann and guitarist Arty McGlynn from Planxty. They have just released their self-titled debut album on Green Linnet Records.

[According to Burke,] “Planxty was very influenced by Woody Guthrie and Eastern European folk music.”

Burke grew up in London with a family from western Ireland. “At that time you could hear more traditional Irish music in London than in any town in Ireland,” he insists. “There was just so much of it, both around the house and in the pubs. Meanwhile, the popular music at school and around the neighborhood was rock ‘n’ roll. I kept them very separate in my head until I was 15 and started seeing the links.

“Someone gave me a Bob Dylan record with a couple of ballads on it,” remembers Burke, “and I said to this fellow, ‘Hey, this isn’t so different from the traditional Irish tunes I know.'”

THE WASHINGTON POST, 27 February 1987, p. C7. From Geoffrey Himes

Archive: 1997 – Gig Review – Patrick Street

Patrick Street in Albuquerque, NM

November 13, 1997 By Rick Boyle

I was lucky enough to be in Albuquerque, New Mexico last Thursday, Nov. 13 and caught Patrick Street on tour. I had a pretty good seat in the second row. They played for about two hours, with one break. The band (Andy Irvine on bouzouki, mandola, harmonica, and vocals; Ged Foley on guitar and vocals; Jackie Daly on accordion; Kevin Burke on fiddle) is touring for the release of their new CD “Made in Cork.” It was a very enjoyable show–good pacing, lots of energy especially in the second set, peerless playing. If you have a chance to catch them, I’d recommend it.