Last night my wife and I went to see Andy Irvine in the Cavan County Museum, Ballyjamesduff … wonderful. Andy, now 68 years of age, is one of the true greats not only of Irish but of world folk music, and a witty raconteur to boot. He is also a gentleman … when I emailed him this morning to compliment him on the show, he emailed back promptly to thank me and say how much he enjoyed it.
Andy is an admirer of Woody Guthrie (‘Never Tire of the Road’ is a tribute to Woody), and his music, as well as drawing on Eastern European influences, touches on themes of Americana to which I alluded on Ana’s blog on MyT the other night. I’ll draw these out in another post when I have a chance.
I first heard Andy’s music when he was a member of Planxty, the seminal Irish traditional band, in the 1970s. As it happens, Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann, the annual festival of traditional Irish music, is taking place in Cavan town at the moment … we went there after the concert to pick up our son, who was working as a barman.
Thousands of people have converged on the town from all over Ireland, continental Europe, Britain and the USA; as well as the competitive element there is live music in all the pubs and on the street (weather permitting). It’s worth €25 million to the local economy. We plan to spend a few hours there tomorrow and listen to some good music.