Five traditional music concerts to catch
Willie Clancy Summer School and Earagail Arts Festival among the highlights
Ye Vagabonds: on their summer-long Tour of the Islands, this duo featuring brothers Brian and Diarmuid MacGloinn explore the rich song traditions of our islands
Saturday, July 7th
Willie Clancy Summer School
Various venues, Miltown Malbay (until Friday) scoilsamhraidhwillieclancy.com
Now in its 46th year, this summer school is the crème de la crème of trad gatherings, with the great, the good and the infinitely entranced gathering for music workshops, sessions, concerts and some humdinger set dancing in the magnificent setting of west Clare. Miltown Malbay and Spanish Point reverberate with tunes from dawn to long after dusk for a full week. Magical.
Earagail Arts Festival
Various venues, Donegal until July 29th eaf.ie
A very strong programme includes a swathe of diverse trad-related concerts, including The Ghostlight Sessions on Wednesday 11th in Balor Arts Centre, Ballybofey, The California Feet Warmers on Thursday 12th in Glenveigh at 1pm and in Bennigan’s, Derry at 8pm and Ceol na Coille in Letterkenny Regional Arts Centre on Thursday 12th, featuring piper, Jarlath Henderson, pianist, flute and whistle player, Hamish Napier, concertina player, Tony O’Connell and singer, Deirdre Scanlon. Then there’s Ulaid and Duke Special in Letterkenny on Friday 13th. That’s just the tip of the iceberg though, as so many other intimate performances vie for space and attention.
Various venues, Spiddal throughout weekend traidphicnic.com
This volunteer-run festival shows no signs of a seven year itch, as it ramps up its programming. One of the highlights of this year’s festival is a headline gig tonight with a reunion of the original line-up of De Danann, featuring Frankie Gavin and Alec Finn and singer, Dolores Keane. Tomorrow’s line-up includes Navá, an Irish-Persian four-piece who mine the deep seams of Persian music with no small measure of originality. A boutique festival with panache.
Sherkin House, Sherkin Island 5pm €10 islandermusic.net Also Fri, Clare Island
Embarking on their summer-long Tour of the Islands, this duo featuring brothers Brian and Diarmuid MacGloinn explore the rich song traditions of our islands. Expect songs of loves and lives lost and won on the briny, along with tales of life surrounded by water. An inventive take on our multi-layered song tradition.
Wednesday, July 11th
The Best of Traditional
St. John’s Theatre, Listowel 8pm €15 stjohnstheatrelistowel.com
With Josephine Marsh on accordion, Séamus Cahill on guitar and Mick Kinsella on harmonica. This occasional concert series draws the sublime talents of box player and tune composer, Josephine Marsh: one of the most understated musicians in the tradition to the Kingdom. With roots in east Clare and in Meath, Marsh’s playing is full of the utterly bearable lightness of being, and this is a fine chance to catch her in an intimate setting.