Blarney Pilgrims Irish Music Podcast

A weekly journey to the heart of Irish music.

About the show

The Blarney Pilgrims Irish Music Podcast is a weekly journey to the heart of Irish music. We interview players of Irish music about how they first came to the music and the place it occupies in their lives now. We use the word ‘heart’ intentionally, because heart is what this music, and the people who play it, are all about. It’s a funny, warm and often unexpected journey – and the tunes are crackin' too.


Dominic Black has made radio shows for the BBC and NPR stations in the USA. He's also an oral history producer, essayist and editor. Dominic owns five different tin whistles, all in the key of 'D.'

Darren O'Mahony is an advertising creative director. He's currently learning the Irish fiddle, but really he wants to get a set of uilleann pipes.

Blarney Pilgrims Irish Music Podcast on social media

Episodes

  • Episode 30: Smash Hits 2019 - Volume 2 - The Blarney Pilgrims Traditional Irish Music Podcast

    December 31st, 2019  |  54 mins 13 secs
    (too big for ya) boots - michelle doyle and mickey o'donnell, as the crow flies - liz carroll, clan o'grady march - ciaran o'grady, donal og - kate burke, john doherty tune - tracey mckeague, mullingar races - david game, she moved through the fair / danish song / borders tunes - sarah wade, that's right too/the leading role -liz carroll, the donegal lass / the black frog / the sanctuary - tony mctigue, the golden keyboard - ado barker, the home ruler / kitty's wedding - tony o'rourke, the january man - mark willson, the musical priest - angus barbary, the town of uranquinn - tony o'rourke, untitled jigs - ciaran o'grady and kate burke, untitled jigs - davydd mcdonald and kit joyce, untitled reels - ciaran o'grady and kate burke, untitled reels - davydd mcdonald and kit joyce, untitled reels - jim dalton

    Part two of our "best of" episode featuring nothing but the best tunes and songs of 2019.

  • Episode 29: Smash Hits 2019 - Volume 1 - The Blarney Pilgrims Traditional Irish Music Podcast

    December 24th, 2019  |  56 mins 29 secs
    con cassidy tune - jamie molloy, fisherman's day - gerry mckeague, gerry crossing to france - paddy fitzgerald, hoedown throwdown - austral, london town - kevin burke, lucy's fling - kevin burke, maudabawn chapel - kevin burke, newry town - jamie molloy, pat rainey - daoirí farrell, stór mo chroí - maggie carty, ten thousand miles away - bush gothic, the boys from dooley gate - sean mathews, the green gowned lass - mary macnamara & eileen o'brien, the jolly beggarman - john carty, the rambling pitchfork - chris fitzgerald, the sligo maid - paddy fitzgerald, tunes - beth - beth mccracken, whistler at the wake - corinn strating

    Part one of our two "best of" episodes. This episode features nothing but tunes and songs from our previous guests, and it's an absolute belter!

  • Episode 28: Tracey McKeague Interview (Fiddle)

    December 18th, 2019  |  1 hr 36 mins
    donegal, dublin, fiddle, homesickness, riverdance; trinity college, strabane, tracey mckeague

    Music in Strabane; Donegal fiddle playing; life before Riverdance; Trinity College and Dublin; homesickness and music

  • Episode 27: Ciaran O'Grady Interview (Concertina)

    December 11th, 2019  |  1 hr 20 mins
    ciaran o'grady, concertina, dublin, english folk, francis droney, identity, irish, luton

    Growing up in Luton, meeting Francis Droney, the anatomy of the concertina, English Folk music, and many many thoughts on identity, home and what "being Irish" means.

  • Episode 26: Sarah Wade Interview (Scottish Small Pipes, Recorder)

    December 4th, 2019  |  54 mins 47 secs

    Learning to enjoy music, and learning who you are as a musician via reeds, recorders, baroque music and Danish pipe bands.

  • Episode 25: Tony McTigue Interview (Banjo)

    November 27th, 2019  |  1 hr 15 mins
    banjo, irish banjo music, irish music australia, irish traditional music, last jar, melbourne, tony mctigue, trad

    Music is the opposite of work. Learning and re-learning how to play. And practicing as far away from the rest of your family as possible. A cracking chat with banjo player Tony McTigue. 

  • Episode 24: Mark Wilson Interview (Unaccompanied singing, spoons)

    November 19th, 2019  |  1 hr 10 mins
    mark, spoons, unaccompanied singing, wilson

    Wallpaper factories; snowy German winters; yoga gurus and music as therapy

  • Episode 23: Davydd McDonald Interview (Fiddle - with Kit Joyce on accordion)

    November 12th, 2019  |  58 mins 47 secs
    brisbane, camp, competitive dance, davydd mcdonald, fiddle, kit joyce, line dance, liz carroll, quasitrad, riverdance

    Line dance; Riverdance; competitive dance and finding the fiddle. How Davydd McDonald found the music via his feet.

  • Episode 22: Liz Carroll Interview (Fiddle)

    November 6th, 2019  |  1 hr 12 mins
    american, carroll, creative, expectations., fiddle, fiddling, irish, liz, process; competitive, rhythm

    The creative process; competitive fiddling; trying people on for size; listening for the rhythm of a session; and playing without expectations.

  • Episode 21: Ado Barker Interview (Fiddle)

    October 29th, 2019  |  1 hr 9 mins
    ado, barker, canberra, ennis, fiddle, gerry mckeague, irish music; yehudi menuhin, learning by ear, sessions, stephane grappelli

    The mystery of Irish music; Yehudi Menuhin playing the shit out of Stephane Grappelli arrangements; late night sessions in Canberra and Ennis; the fear of learning to learn a tune by ear; and Six Degrees of Gerry McKeague.

  • Episode 20: Jim Dalton Interview (Mandolin, Banjo)

    October 22nd, 2019  |  44 mins 36 secs

    Leaving Ireland, foundry work, Cardiff sessions and leaving your banjo at home. Oh, and Bush Bands, mandolins and marches.

  • Episode 19: Kate Burke Interview (Guitar, singing)

    October 15th, 2019  |  59 mins 43 secs
    burke, canberra, ciaran o'grady, concertina, dadgad, donal og, druth, guitar, kate, luke plumb, singing, songwriter, trouble in the kitchen

    Guitarist, singer and songwriter Kate Burke on late nights when the music takes over; on Bela Bartok's graphic notation; on bush fires, sneaky pints and DADGAD.

  • Episode 18: Tony O'Rourke Interview (Banjo, guitar) - The Blarney Pilgrims Traditional Irish Music Podcast

    October 8th, 2019  |  1 hr 5 mins
    banjo, guitar, johnny connolly, melodeon, melody, the monkees, tony o rourke

    The consolations of melody, Johnny Connolly's melodeon, the invention of white-out and The Monkees.

  • Episode 17: David Game Interview (Fiddle) - The Blarney Pilgrims Traditional Irish Music Podcast

    October 1st, 2019  |  50 mins 13 secs
    canberra, david, donegal, fiddle, game, guildford, mandolin, sydney

    'It's kind of like falling in love or something... you just gotta do something about it. So I bought a mandolin.' David Game on being smitten, rare Irish albums of the 1970s, Donegal fiddling and musicians of sessions past in Sydney and Canberra.

  • Episode 16: Angus Barbary Interview (Fiddle) - The Blarney Pilgrims Traditional Irish Music Podcast

    September 24th, 2019  |  53 mins 30 secs
    angus, banger, barbary, classical, dance, fiddle, groove, hoedown, melbourne, socio-spatial, swing, sydney, throwdown, trad

    Finding the grove, making people dance and socio-spatial crossovers. Hmmm... we cover a lot in this episode. Thanks Angus.

  • Episode 15: Michelle Doyle and Mickey O'Donnell Interview (Harp & fiddle) - The Blarney Pilgrims Traditional Irish Music Podcast

    September 17th, 2019  |  1 hr 5 mins
    awareness, celtic, fiddle, harp, hike, michelle doyle, mickey o'donnell, new zealand, osteoporosis, pozible

    Harps, fiddles and brittle bones. Michelle and Mickey talk to us before they head off on their great adventure - hiking and gigging their way from the tip of New Zealand to the bottom in a bid to raise awareness for Osteoporosis.