Cork Folk Festival - Cork, Ireland - 28th Sep - 1st October 2017


Artist Biographies: Cork Folk Festival 2016

Mick Flannery
Mick Flannery is a refreshingly unassuming artist from Blarney, whose stage presence exudes no superficial gimmicks, just a man sharing his songs in an understated but powerful manner. This attribute, combined with the heartfelt honesty in his lyrics, has won him worthy comparisons to such great songwriters as Bruce Springsteen and Tom Waits. “Mick is a songwriter of the first order … His voice is pained, gravelly, and powerful. Recorded or live, it carries through and stops you in your tracks.” Urban Folk, New York.
Cork Opera House – 8pm Sunday 2nd Oct
Self-styled Dublin folk miscreants Lynched involve the talents of brothers Ian and Daragh Lynch, who, legend has it, formed their own “experimental folk-punk psychedelic duo” around a decade ago. Their uilleann pipes, whistle and guitar are now joined in the band by Radie Peat (concertina, bayan, and whistle) and Cormac Mac Diarmada (fiddle, banjo). When they set out, they played folk-punk in Dublin pubs. They have since moved the focus to the city’s roots and its ancient song tradition. The repertoire includes anti-war songs, sing-alongs, children’s songs from the streets of Dublin and old Traveller songs.
Live at St Luke’s 8pm Friday 30th Sept
The Unthanks
Northumbrian folk group the Unthanks took shape in 2004 as Rachel Unthank & the Winterset. Formed by sisters Rachel and Becky Unthank, the Winterset released two albums and earned a loyal following in the U.K. before switching monikers in 2009. With a slightly different line-up in place — one that featured Rachel’s husband, pianist Adrian McNally, as well as fiddler Niopha Keegan and guitarist Chris Price — the Unthanks released their debut album, Here’s the Tender Coming, that same year. Here’s the Tender Coming made a big splash in Europe, where it was named one of 2009′s best releases by Mojo, The Guardian, and Uncut.
Live at St Luke’s 8pm Wednesday 28th Sept

Buttons & Bows
When Buttons and Bows first landed on the Irish music scene in 1983, a new splash of colour was thrown into the mix. With their roots firmly planted in their beloved Irish traditional music, Buttons & Bows was ready to experiment with graceful Quebecois waltzes, lively Danish quadrilles and achingly beautiful Shetland airs. Barriers were broken, energy and humour abounded, jigs and reels were given a new dusting of magic. Decades later, the band’s repertoire still raises a smile at traditional music sessions in every corner of the globe. This influential foursome – made up of Jackie Daly, Séamus and Manus McGuire and Garry O’Briain – began its days with sessions in Kinvara and previously performed at the Cork Folk Festival in 1992 &; 1998.
CIT Cork School of Music Saturday 1st October
We Banjo 3
Award-winning quartet We Banjo 3 from Galway, combine Irish Music with Old-Time American and Bluegrass influences to reveal the banjo’s rich legacy and roots. When this band of brothers take flight in a wave of virtuosity, verve and joie-de-vivre, feet tap and pulses race. Enda & Fergal Scahill and Martin & David Howley are among the most celebrated and distinguished young musicians in Ireland today. They perform at Cork Folk Fest with the band Socks in the Frying Pan.
Oliver Plunkett Friday 30th Sept 10pm
Atlantic Arc Orchestra
The festival will present the premier of a new musical project called Atlantic Arc Orchestra, featuring musicians & singers from Ireland, North and South and Scotland. It’s a project that has been co-produced by singer Pauline Scanlon, to draw on the shared musical heritage of the Atlantic arc region. The line-up features: Donal Lunny (musical director & bouzouki), Pauline Scanlon (Irish traditional vocals), Jarlath Henderson (border pipes), Aidan O’Rourke (fiddle), Padraig Rynne (concertina & electronics), and John Blease  (drums & percussion) and on Bass Ewen Vernal.
CIT Cork School of Music Friday 30th September

Tír na nÓg, the legendary Irish duo formed by Sonny Condell and Leo O’Kelly have been described as Alt Folk, Psych Folk, and even Space Folk! What is not disputed is that Sonny Condell and Leo O’Kelly are two of the most influential writers and musicians ever to have come from Ireland. The duo came together in 1970 and made three classic albums for Chrysalis Records.
The three albums, ‘ Tír na nÓg’ (1971), ‘A Tear and a Smile’ (1972) and ‘Strong in the Sun’ (1973) were re-mastered and released in October 2012 by Cherry Red Records/Esoteric, including all their singles as bonus tracks. They were strongly championed by John Peel, and recorded many Peel Sessions for BBC. As well as headlining their own shows, they, famously, toured the world with Jethro Tull, Cat Stevens, and Procol Harum, as well as gigging with The Who, Roxy Music and T.Rex.
Their new album, The Dark Dance, is their first studio album in 42 years, and it has already been cited as Classic Rock Magazine’s No.3 Prog Album of 2015! Record Collector Magazine did a 5-page feature on Tir na nOg in their last issue. The duo recently headlined a one day 5 band festival at the renowned London venue, The Half Moon, Putney, and their performance will be released in June on vinyl and CD.
The Oliver Plunkett 5pm Tír na nÓg, Nichole Maguire +Rob Halligan €15

Compánach – The Music of Ireland

Featuring Fintan Vallely (flute), Tiarnán Ó Duinnchín (uilleann pipes), Gerry O’Connor (fiddle), Karan Casey (song), Emma O’Sullivan (sean-nós dance)
Playing against a big-screen backdrop of photos by Jacques Nutan
Compánach is a concert of Irish music in its place – from all 32 counties on the island – a collaboration of photography and live music. Each enhances the other – an interplay of sound, sight and imagination which effortlessly conveys a large amount of contextual and stylistic information on Irish-Traditional music from the 1700s up to modern time. The playing is seamless, but rapidly-changing, some 90 tunes running without commentary in 25 sets. The narrative is subliminal, generated by some 800 images. Some of these are historical, but the bulk are photos by Jacques Nutan. His landscapes and personalities have independent dramatic power, they greatly expand the music experience and side-step the linguistic barriers which can often curtail comprehension.

Steve Tilston
Steve has been in the media spotlight and taken a stroll down the red carpet recently. The Hollywood movie Danny Collins starring Al Pacino, was loosely inspired by the story of Steve’s “lost” letter from John Lennon and Steve was at the premier with all the razzmatazz that entailed. There was also a great magazine piece on the One Show where he actually got to meet Al Pacino. John Lennon sent the letter in 1971, when Steve was starting out on his music career, but wasn’t received. In fact Steve only learned of its existence three decades later, closely followed by one of those “what if” moments… Perhaps best known for his song-writing prowess, Steve is also a blinding, dazzling guitarist with a style echoing the elaborate rhythmic “folk baroque” of Bert Jansch and Davy Graham, but also drawing from folk, blues and roots music to create a sound that has been called quintessentially Tilston. Truth to Tell shows even after 45 years in the business, he’s still got it in fact he’s on fantastic form!
Winner BBC Radio 2 Folk Award – Best Original Song
As seen on Later with Jools Holland & BBC Four Songwriters’ Circle
Inspiration for the Hollywood movie Danny Collins starring Al PacinoWith Cyprus Avenue 8pm Thursday 29th Sept

 The Allow Céilí Band

The Band was formed in Freemount, a village in Duhallow, Co. Cork in 2003. The band’s name is taken from the river Allow which flows through this village. The members of the Allow Céilí Band are drawn from the locality of North Cork & West Limerick and, for the most part, grew up playing traditional music together. From its inception, the band has been an active dance band performing for céilís at home and abroad. In 2007, the Allow Céilí Band became the first Cork band ever to win the prestigious Senior Céilí Band All-Ireland title at Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann in Tullamore, Co. Offaly. They released their debut album ‘Ag Rince Go Maidin’ in 2012, deemed ‘traditional music at its best’ – Peter Browne (RTÉ Radio)
Cork City Hall 2pm Sunday 2nd October

Roy Harper

Renowned folk singer-songwriter Roy Harper has announced five special headline shows to celebrate his 75th birthday. This show confirmed for 29th September 2016 at Live At St. Luke’s in Cork will see Roy accompanied by the highly accomplished guitarist Bill Shanley.

Few surviving artists from the counterculture of the 60s have kept their reputations intact. With 23 studio LPs and almost as many live and compilation releases, Roy’s career has spanned six decades. He has enjoyed public endorsements, collaborations and tributes from the likes of Led Zeppelin, Kate Bush, Pink Floyd’s Dave Gilmour and many more with Fleet Foxes, Johnny Marr and Joanna Newsom affirmed fans.

In 2013 Roy Harper released album ‘Man & Myth’ via Bella Union which was lauded by press across the UK with the likes of Uncut saying “Harper’s first album in 13 years is a magnificent, ambitious rejuvenation.”

These new headline dates are Roy’s first in over three years.

‘The most erudite of songsmiths’ Q Magazine

Live at St Luke’s 8pm Thursday 29th Sept


‘The Henry Girls are three immensely talented sisters from Donegal, Ireland. Louder Than Words is their second full length album and includes their wonderful single Maybe. It is impossible to put this talented band into any niche. Their music is diverse and eclectic in both style and substance. This album takes you on a magical journey. The songs are lyrically beautiful as they tell the tales of lost loves and lost souls. It is also musically rich and manages to encompass styles from jazzy to pop with touches of blues, bluegrass, Celtic, rock and everything in between. The variety of songs here is fantastic; from the ballad James Monroe, to fun and upbeat tunes like The Weather and So Long but Not Goodbye, to the mysterious The Light in the Window, to the dramatic Not Easy This spellbinding collection of songs will completely captivate you. The harmonies are nothing short of amazing. This is most definitely a must have album. It is available on ITunes here Click on the link and order it NOW! You can thank me later.’- Fanrealm (USA)

An Spailpín Fánach 9.30pm Boxcar Bertha + special guest Ron Kavana €10

Boxcar Bertha are four musicians who share a careful appreciation for old blues music, from the playful melodies of Mississippi John Hurt and Blind Boy Fuller to the belting dramatics of Big Mama Thornton. Featuring Martina Stafford (vocals, harp and kazoo), Pete Cahill (guitar), John Mc Aleer (bass) and Shane Scanlan (drums).
Ron Kavana

Ron Kavana has been on the cutting edge of contemporary Celtic and British pop music for more than two decades. His collaborations have brought him together with such influential musicians as Alexis KornerCharlie Watts of the Rolling StonesJack Brucethe PoguesDonovanthe Chieftains,Elvis CostelloClarence “Frogman” HenryDoug SahmRichard Thompson, and the late Sandy Denny. Performing with a lengthy list of bands, Kavana has blended the musical traditions of the British Isles with blues, Tex-Mex, country, Cajun, and rock influences. Called a “hard-hitting, no-nonsense realist” by The Village Voice, Kavana has produced music that has been described, by Music Week, as “charming, disarming with a very dry sardonic wit.”

The son of an Irish father and an American mother, Kavana was born in the Country Cork village of Fenmoy. After cutting his early musical teeth in a R&B band, the Wizards, Kavana helped to form a trad rock group, Loudest Whisper. Although together for a very brief period, Loudest Whisper recorded one album, The Children of Lyre, for the Polydor label.

With Boxcar Bertha Sat 1st Oct An Spailpin Fanach


Ye Vagabonds

Brothers Diarmuid and Brían spent their early years making music around their hometown of Carlow before moving to Dublin city and quickly becoming a staple and much talked about duo on the live scene in Ireland.

Before long the brothers caught the eye of film maker Myles O’Reilly (Arbutus Yarns) who put together some short videos of their music. These videos won the admiration of musicians and industry folk alike, here at home and further abroad.

Ye Vagabonds were soon invited to play Other Voices, along with numerous festivals and shows throughout Ireland and the UK.

Live at St Luke’s 8pm Saturday 1st Oct


Nichole Maguire

Nicole Maguire is a young lady from Cork making major waves on the international music scene.  Counting Damien Dempsey and Nancy Griffith as friends and mentors Nicole has grown from a shy 15 year old performing at local venues to a mesmerising, accomplished star, whether fronting a band or performing solo with acoustic guitar.

Focused and driven, Nicole raised the money to travel to Nashville to write and from there road tested her songs around America.  More double jobbing raised the money to work with one of the most respected producers in the world, multi Grammy nominated Mitchell Froom (Pearl Jam, Randy Newman, Ron Sexsmith – to name a few).

In late 2015, Nicole went back into the studio, this time at Orphan Music Studios in Dublin with producer Gavin Glass. Hand picking an elite group of Ireland’s finest musicians, they joined Nicole to create her second studio album titled ‘Wishing Well’ due for release in April 2016. The title track of the album features the vocals from one of Ireland’s finest songwriters,and one of Nicole’s heroes, Paul Brady.

With TÍR NA NÓG Sunday 2nd Oct The Oliver Plunkett 5pm

White Horse Guitar Club

The story of The White Horse Guitar club is one based around music & friendship. The bond of those two things has drawn a group of likeminded souls together and the shared experience of singing, playing and performing is a long burning fuel that keeps a bright fire lit.

Formed in early 2012, the band evolved from an open club environment into a fully fledged musical touring group of 11 friends in that relatively short space of time. The music we choose to play is deeply rooted in the fine tradition of songwriting that flourishes in the southern states of America, particularly in Kentucky & Tennessee where the Scots/Irish influence was strong. We proudly sing the songs of John Prine, Darrell Scott, Tim O’Brien, Buddy Miller, Townes Van Zandt, Willie Nelson and more.

The WHGC has performed all over Ireland & beyond in the last 3 years, in concert settings and cosy pub corners, as street musicians and as festival favorites.

Thursday 29th Sept An Spailpín Fánach 9.30pm

Duane Andrews and Aaron Collis are from Newfoundland. Duane grew up exposed to the island’s mélange of cultural influences and his development as a guitarist reflects that. Duane has spent several years studying contemporary music composition at the Conservatoire International de Paris. Recently he has teamed up and recorded with accordion player Aaron Collis who plays in the Newfoundland and Labrador traditional style. Duane and Aaron released their new CD entitled, The Mallard Cottage Sessions in May 2015 and it has received an ECMA 2016 Nomination for Traditional Instrumental Recording of The Year. They have featured at the annual Féile Seamus Creagh Festival in Newfoundland.

John Leo Carter

His first solo album “Candyfloss girl” featured John Spillane received great reviews in Ireland, he has just releases his 2nd  studio album “No Monsters Only Toys”.”Drawing from the genres of Irish trad, Folk and balladeering, Carter’s lyrics are pure poetry with Guitar playing that sparkles and glimmers like light on water.” (Ten/Ten Adrienne Murphy, Hotpress Magazine). “An intriguing Talent. John Leo Carter’s evocative muse is much closer to Nick Drake and Tim Buckley.” (John O Regan, Irish Music Magazine) “A man, a guitar and his Bodhran. Being alone on stage and at the same time filling it so completely with the help of his voice, guitar and a drum. It is an art, the artist John Leo.

At The Oliver Plunkett 10pm-2am Friday 30th Sept  with   We Banjo 3 + Socks in the Frying Pan,

Stíleanna is a flute concert with 6 musicians from different regions of Ireland renowned for local styles. Karl Nesbitt , Aoife Granville, Fintan Vallely, John Byrne, Joanne Quirke and Mike Walsh.

Karl Nesbitt from Tipperary is talented flute, bazoki and bodhrán player, he is also a composer and producer. Aoife Granville from Dingle is Flute and Fiddle player she released a Flute album, ‘Sáimhín Só’ in 2014.Fintan Vallely is a musician, writer, lecturer and researcher on Traditional music. From Co. Armagh, he has taught flute at the Willie Clancy summer school in Co. Clare since 1986.  In 1999 he published a major reference work, A-Z Companion to Irish Traditional Music.   Joanne Quirke is from Cork city, she plays fiddle, piano and harp. Joanne studied Music at University College Cork and received the Sean O Riada memorial award for performance in Irish Traditional Music. Mike Walsh is a distinctive and versatile flute player from Knocknagoshel Co Kerry. John Byrne is a piper and flute player from North cork, John has recorded with and plays with the band Arundo.

 An Spailpín Fánach 2pm Stíleanna (Styles) Flute Concert €10

Danny Maidhcí Ó Súilleabháinfrom Cúil Aodha Co. Cork, Danny has been singing with Cór Cuil Aodha for decades. Recently he recorded a double album, ‘Buail do Phuc is Liúigh’. The album features songs from neighbours and local singers and poets, the likes of George Curtin and Danny Tom Lehane from Baile Mhúirne, and Johnny Nóra Aodha Ó Tuama of Inchees, Kilgarvan.

Caoimhe & Eimhear Flannery are two young sisters from Rockchapel who are both All-Ireland winners. Caoimhe plays fiddle and Eimhear concertina and they play in the Sliabh Luachra style. They have played concerts in Scartaglen and Castleisland supporting  Jackie Daly and Matt Cranitch.

Séamus Creagh (1946-2009), was born in Killucan, County Westmeath.  In 1977 Seamus Creagh made his first recording with accordion player Jackie Daly on the Gael Linn label. This album is now generally acknowledged as one of the seminal recordings of the music of Sliabh Luachra.

Cork School of Music 8pm A Tribute to Seamus Creagh with Buttons & Bows; Jackie Daly, Seamus & Manus McGuire & Garry O’Briain, Danny Maidhcí Ó Súilleabháin, Duane Andrews & Aaron Collis (Newfoundland),Caoimhe & Eimhear Flannery, MC Matt Cranitch. €20

Tiz McNamara is a Cork born, Liverpool based musician. He has managed to rack up over 1 Million Spotify streams with no record label or management, as well as selling out his recent headline shows in Whelan’s.

An Spailpín Fánach 12.30pm Stíleanna (Styles) Fiddle Concert Manus & Seamus Maguire (Sligo), Matt Cranitch & Geraldine O ‘Callaghan (Cork), Gerry O ‘Connor (Louth), Seamus Sands (Down), Sorcha Costello (Tulla). €10

Seamus Sands from Co Down, he is very highly regarded for his unique style of relaxed, melodic, and rhythmic playing. He released his debut solo CD ‘Across Bridges’ in 2015.  Matt Cranitch from Co. Cork is renowned at home in Ireland and abroad as an Irish traditional fiddle-player, teacher, lecturer and author, he has recorded and played with Na Fili, Any Old Time, Sliabh Notes and more recently with Jackie Daly. Gerry O Connor is from Dundalk he is a producer, composer and music teacher .Gerry is a founding member of bands, Skylark and La Lúgh.Seamus McGuire, from Sligo, enjoys a dual career; medical doctor and professional musician. Seamus manages also to bridge the classical and traditional worlds, winning the fiddle contests Fiddler of Dooney and playing with the Dublin Symphony Orchestra.  Manus Maguire from Sligo lives in Clare, in 1970 at the age of 14 he also won Sligo’s prestigious ‘Fiddler of Dooney’. He is a founding member of Buttons and Bows, Moving Cloud and The Brock McGuire Band.

Cork City Hall 2-5pm Céilí Mór Allow Céilí Band, Seán Ó Sé, Douglas Comhaltas Céilí Band, Caller William (Hammy) Hammond 5 & €10 family 2 child &2 adults)


The Allow Céilí Band formed in 2003, are from Freemount, a village in Duhallow, Co. Cork . The members of the Allow Céilí Band are drawn from the locality of North Cork & West Limerick and, for the most part, grew up playing traditional music together. In 2007, the Allow Céilí Band became the first Cork band ever to win the prestigious Senior Céilí Band All-Ireland title at Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann in Tullamore, Co. Offaly. They released their debut album ‘Ag Rince Go Maidin’ in 2012, deemed ‘traditional music at its best’ – Peter Browne (RTÉ) , Seán Ó Sé a native of Bantry, he was born into an Irish speaking family immersed in traditional music and song. He is a legend all over the world for his wonderful singing, stories and good humour.Douglas Comhaltas Céilí Band led by Mick Hickey are winners of the 2016 Munster Céilí Band competition.

St Peters Church 2.30pm Cork Pipers’ Club- Ceiliúradh Micheál Ó Riabhaigh featuring Eoin & Micheál Ó Riabhaigh, Mary Mitchell-Ingoldsby, John Mitchell, Máire Ní Ghrada, Rose O’Leary, Liam Harris & Liam Collins introduction by Lena Dineen €10

Micheál Ó Riabhaigh (1911- 1976) was born in Kilavullen near Mallow. From a young age he developed a lasting interest in piping and music.  He learnt most of his piping from Tadhg Crowley of Crowley’s Music Shop and was greatly influenced by the famous piper Neilus Cronin. From the late 1950’s until 1970 he travelled extensively playing at concerts in Ireland and abroad at international folk gatherings. He married Marie Leyden in 1954, and reared five children; Micheál, Nora, Jimmy, Eoin and Eibhlin. In the early 60’s he was instrumental in the revival of the Cork Pipers Club which had been founded in 1898. Micheál’s unselfish devotion to the revival of the club and to teaching (and thereby preserving) our native music – and, most of all, his rapport with the young members of the club – produced a generation of top-class musicians.

The line-up of the concert will feature many of Micheál’s pupils from the mid-1960s-to-mid-1970s. The pipers will play a selection of the music that they learned from him in solos and duets.  It is hoped the pipers will relate a few anecdotes about their experiences of what it was like to be part of the most vibrant and influential part of Cork’s traditional music scene in those heady years.

An Spailpín Fánach 5pm Stíleanna (Styles) Concertina/Box Concert,Duane Andrews and Aaron Collis (Newfoundland), Jackie Daly (Sliabh Luachra), Niall Vallely (Armagh), Aidan Coffey (Waterford) and Cliona Halley (Cork) €10

Aidan Coffey from Bunmahon Co. Waterford, he joined De Dannan in 1988 and spent seven years touring and recording with them. He also recorded an album with Seamus Creagh in 1999 and has just released a brilliant new album ‘The Corner House Set’. Cliona Halley is a concertina player and teacher from Cork and she performed with Comhaltas on a tour of Britain 2014. Niall Vallely, from Armagh, studied music at UCC and was a founder member of the bands Nomos and Buille. Niall is a gifted tune composer and last year he published a book of 101 tunes entitled Malfunction Junction. Jackie Daly is from Kanturk and has played and recorded with De Dannan, Arcady, Patrick Street and Seamus Creagh.

Karrie O ‘Sullivan

Karrie is originally from Ballyhar near Killarney, has gained an increasing number of fans ever since a number of her songs received air time on both local and national radio stations, including Radio 1 and Lyric FM.

The aunt of popular Irish singer Mick Flannery, O’Sullivan is currently making a great name for herself in the music industry. Flannery himself has offered many support gigs, including Whelan’s, Roisin Dubh, INEC, and Dolans, all as part of the album tour.

Clare O Mahoney

Clare is an Irish singer songwriter from Ballygarvan, Cork.  Clare was always interested in music and played piano as a young child, starting at just 4 years of age! Clare’s musical interest lessened during her teenage years, however her interest was re-kindled in her late teens and early twenties with the discovery of the likes of Irish songwriter, Sinead Lohan as well as Tracy Chapman and Joni Mitchell that really peaked Clare’s interest in songwriting and playing guitar.

An Spailpín Fánach 9.30pm Boxcar Bertha + special guest Ron Kavana €10

Boxcar Bertha are four musicians who share a careful appreciation for old blues music, from the playful melodies of Mississippi John Hurt and Blind Boy Fuller to the belting dramatics of Big Mama Thornton. Featuring Martina Stafford (vocals, harp and kazoo), Pete Cahill (guitar), John Mc Aleer (bass) and Shane Scanlan (drums).
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