The Blarney Pilgrims 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.
Hey there - it's Darren and Dom here. So...we want to let you know that last week was the last episode (Ep 94) of the Blarney Pilgrims Podcast for now. We've come to a point where we've both decided to take a long pause and focus on a few other things. Knowing how much the podcast means to you all, it's a decision we've been really reluctant to take. What we DO know is how massively grateful we are for every text, every thumbs up, every raised eyebrow of support we've had over the past two years. You are all legends, and we're forever in your debt. Thanks especially to everyone who's become a Patron Saint and supported us through the toughest of economic times, and thanks most especially to the musicians. To those who have been so generous to share their tunes and stories with us, and to those who've welcomed us into pub sessions and festival gatherings and house sessions and campsite sessions. Wherever in the world we've chatted with players of the music, we've been made to feel like lifelong pals. It's a testament to the open heartedness of the communities who keep the music going wherever they are, and we can't thank you all enough. We hope this archive will remain of use to people even as we're taking a pause. So - please do stay in touch, don't be a stranger, and if you see us out and about, do say hello. And we'll see you when we see you. Dom and Darren.
April 21st, 2020 | 1 hr 24 mins
celtic, cork, ethnomusicologist, ethnomusicology, fiddle, hannah harris, irish, michigan, north carolina
On the Swannanoa Gathering with Finn McGill, on ethnomusicology, on the difference between Irish and Celtic, on her time in Cork and finding lock-down inspiration in Quarantunes.
April 16th, 2020 | 1 hr 20 mins
blind, ceol fm, community, darragh ó héiligh, drogheda, equal access, music at the gate, uilleann pipes
On the creation of Ceol FM, on equal access; on finding the pipes, on creating community and space for upcoming players, and on seeing a need and acting on it.
April 8th, 2020 | 1 hr 27 mins
banjo, cameron mather, fleadh, isolation, sydney
Talks about the strange, difficult moment we're all facing. About isolation and its challenges; his love of Irish music; hardcore training to compete in the Fleadh; the Sydney session scene and the beauty of being a teacher.
April 1st, 2020 | 1 hr 20 mins
Founder and keeper of thesession.org, probably the greatest Irish music resource in the world. And this episode hopefully has something of the generous essence of that community. We talk making things and sharing them, music, people and being the janitor for an online community. There's so much in here, a treasure trove of insights (from Jeremy, not us.)
March 24th, 2020 | 1 hr 31 mins
An unexpected journey, in the company of Darren, Dom, Dom's Uncle Leo, Sean Matthews and the landlady in Carberry's, Drogheda.
March 17th, 2020 | 1 hr 28 mins
australia, emma lewis, fiddle, melbourne, traditional
On travels in Ireland and random festival invites; on gender and inequality; on how tunes connect us all; on friendships and on returning home to Australia.
March 10th, 2020 | 1 hr 16 mins
andy davey., clare, dermot byrne, donegal, fiddle, hughie doherty, james byrne, junior davey, mick doherty, mickey mor, perth, rob zielinski, sean doherty
On Mick Doherty, on Hughie Doherty and on Mickey Mor. On growing up in Perth, on Donegal style and on Clare Style. On Sean Doherty, on Dermot Byrne, on James Byrne, Junior Davey and on Andy Davey. On returning to Australia and recording and archive his life-long friend and mentor. An incredible story.
March 3rd, 2020 | 1 hr 15 mins
birmingham, birmingham ceili band, catherine mcevoy, flute, peig mcgrath, roscommon, sligo, táin ceili band
On Growing up in Birmingham, on the Sligo-Roscommon style, on slowing down Seamus Tansey records, on the Birmingham Ceili Band and Táin Ceili Band, on Peig McGrath, on women in traditional Irish music, on piano accompaniment and on Michael Grinter and Rudall and Rose flutes.
February 26th, 2020 | 1 hr 19 mins
accordion, east clare, irish, joe fitzgerald, melbourne, singing, traditional
The great Joe Fitzgerald, of east Clare and Melbourne. On first hearing his mother play the melodeon. On drovers, the bush, and working with his father. On lost players: Mick Minogue, Mrs Brady, Mrs Purcell and Frank MacNamara. Growing old and the curative power of music and song.
February 18th, 2020 | 1 hr 7 mins
fiddle, guitar, hajime takahashi, japan, japanese, kaoru sumitomo, kyoto, session, tokyo
The Mountains of Pomeroy with Eileen O'Brien at 4 in the morning, the session as a conversation, finding your own style, Junji Shirota, Japanese folk songs and Good Times in O'Hara's
February 11th, 2020 | 1 hr 13 mins
manchester, reeds, statia donnelly, the blackbird / colonel fraser, the may morning dew, tionól, uilleann pipes
Floating Tionóls, learning traditional Irish music, temperamental reeds, South American Shaman, growing up in Manchester, the importance of learning on a good instrument and carrying on a cultural tradition.
February 5th, 2020 | 1 hr 21 mins
cathy custy, concertina, irish music australia
Concertina player Cathy Custy on quietly slipping into a session after not playing in public for many years. On gently making a space for music in her life again. On growing up, leaving Ireland and making a home elsewhere. On the challenges of teaching adults to play simple tunes well, and how a teacloth covering the sandwiches in a cafe in Palmerston North nearly changed her life.
January 28th, 2020 | 1 hr 13 mins
irish banjo australia, irish music wodonga, jody moran, piano accordion, wodonga musicians
Finding a set of Uileann Pipes in Yackandandah, VIC; getting your eyes gouged and goolies grabbed in the south of France; winning at the Fleadh when you're eleven; lilting, teaching your children to play at a young age. And getting to know and love Australia.
January 22nd, 2020 | 1 hr 59 mins
comhaltas, comhaltas ceoltóirí éireann, frank custy, irish fiddle, micho russell, the last jar, tola custy
Clare born fiddle player Tola Custy on how Irish music nearly died and how his father and others of his generation saved it. About out of tune whistling, the woman who bossed the Tulla Céilí Band, Radical Comhaltas, the waltzes in his head and much else besides. Epic.
January 15th, 2020 | 1 hr 14 mins
ballarat, eureka stockade, geoff mcarthur, koroit, lake school, songwriting
Lunasa disturb the sleeping Geoff McArthur, Martin Hayes bewitches him, and hey presto - Geoff falls in love with Irish music. We also talk songwriting, teaching and mentoring young musicians at the Lake School of Celtic Music, Song and Dance in Koroit. And he sings a song and makes us cry. Can't ask for more than that.
January 8th, 2020 | 1 hr 7 mins
coppers and brass, handmade, jack brennan, lake school, leo rowsome, pipes, uilleann pipes
Jack Brennan talks to us about finding the pipes, The French Resistance, catching serial killers, Leo Rowsome, Coppers and Brass and loving your instrument.