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Charlie’s finely crafted folk is above Parr

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Charlie Parr plays Monroe's on Aug 25. His childhood in a Minnesota meat-manufacturing city has left an impression.

If you want to hear music played with craft and passion, check out Charlie Parr’s show in Monroe’s Live on Wednesday, August 24.

Growing up in Austin, Minnesota, songwriter and guitarist Charlie found his ear for roots music by trawling through his father’s record collection.

“It was pretty variable, but there were a few blues records in there,” he says. “Just enough to get me curious about that type of music.”

As a young man in the 1980s, Charlie’s love for the songs of folk singer Spider John Kroener inspired him to move to Minneapolis.

“A friend of mine had told me about seeing Spider John play, and that was all I wanted to do,” Charlie says about a musician who is now 77.

“John is the one musician that I’ve seen live who, more than any other, has informed the way I approach folk songs. I don’t try to play like him, but I admire John’s attitude towards folk songs. He’ll take a folk song and make it his own, and he has a unique way of doing that.”

Charlie is becoming a veteran of the road himself – his biog mentions that he plays 250 shows a year. In fact, he plays more, he says.

“Last year I think I did 263 or something like that. That’s my life, I just want to play. I don’t mind the travelling right now. You’ve got to make hay while the sun shines, so when people ask me to play I usually go ahead and play.”

But the life of troubadour is not as romantic as it sounds. Being a touring musician means Charlie doesn’t get to see his kids, who are nine and 15, as much as he’d like.

“I miss them –  when I’m home I spend as much time as I can with them,” he says. “I’d love to have a garden where I could grow a tomato once in a while, but it’s hard to keep track of that kind of thing.  All the home-body instincts that I naturally have get pushed aside.”

So, is being on the road so much worth it?

“I’m trying to fit those other things in as best I can, we all have to do that I guess,” Charlie says. “When I was young, my dad worked in a packing house and he worked between 10 and 12 hours a day, sometimes six days a week. If I did see him, he’d be so wiped out he’d go to sleep in his chair. I think about that nowadays. When I see my kids, I try to be wide awake and do things they like to do, and be present for them.”

Charlie grew up in the Hormel meat-packing city of Austin, Minnesota, where Spam is still manufactured. Both his parents worked in the meat-packing industry, something that left an impression, as did the fact that the area was largely rural.

For more of tis interview with Charlie Parr see this week’ Tribune here

Connacht Tribune

International collaboration has Galway duo on the right track

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Bursting Wonderland…debut album.

Groove Tube with Cian O’Connell

Bursting Wonderland is as expansive and ambitious a project as its name would imply; a collaborative project between Mimmo Ripa and Ania Chmielewska, the work tackles themes of art, politics and culture on their debut album David & Goliath.

The duo, based in Galway, hold kindred outlooks on many aspects of songwriting and creativity. Perhaps crucially, their views on work ethic and application are of a very similar nature.

On February 17, the duo is set to release Rebels – the first single from their aforementioned LP. Their sound takes inspiration from classic grunge and rock bands and leaves space for melodic, sweeping vocals.

Having worked with a long list of musicians from an early age, Mimmo was somewhat hesitant of joining Ania’s act.

“I was reluctant to accept Ania’s proposal to make music together because I was very reluctant to embark on any other music projects,” Mimmo admits.

“My solo project Aboutmeemo had and still has its own portion of effort and responsibility with the obstacles that occur in any music project. I’ve been in many bands and collaborated with many artists over the years and I found it draining for different reasons – mainly the lack of commitment in band rehearsals and the lack of planning and direction.

“Too many people approach music promising a level of commitment and effort that unfortunately they will never be able to respect. I’m always careful to only collaborate with other musicians if I see a spark in their eyes. Otherwise, it can end up being a waste of time.”

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App

Download the Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App to access to Galway’s best-selling newspaper.

Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

Or purchase the Digital Edition for PC, Mac or Laptop from Pagesuite  HERE.

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The Connacht Tribune Live app is the home of everything that is happening in Galway City and county. It’s completely FREE and features all the latest news, sport and information on what’s on in your area. Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

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Connacht Tribune

Music to raise spirits as Proud plays Bach classic

Judy Murphy

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Malcolm Proud will be performing Bach's Goldberg Variations on a two-manual harpsichord.

Arts Week with Judy Murphy

As a youngster growing up in Dublin, Malcolm Proud harboured vague dreams of one day becoming a train driver or maybe a pilot. But those dreams were never serious and, in the end, music won out – always a far more likely possibility. Malcolm’s mother, Yvonne, played and taught piano and one of his earliest memories is of her playing Bach.

He began learning piano and later went on to study the organ as a choirboy in St Bartholomew’s Church in Clyde Road, Ballsbridge.

Malcolm entered Trinity College in 1969, graduating with a degree in music. It was in Trinity that he first came into contact with the harpsichord, a stringed instrument that looks like a piano – it was one of the most important instruments in European music between the 16th century and mid-18th century.

After graduating from Trinity, Malcolm studied harpsichord at the Royal Irish Academy and won a Danish government scholarship to the Conservatory of Music in Copenhagen. Some years later, he attended Amsterdam’s Sweelinck Conservatoire, where he studied under the renowned harpsichordist and organist Gustaf Leonhardt. He won first prize at the Edinburgh International Harpsichord Competition in 1982, having been a finalist in the Bruges International Harpsichord Competition in 1980.

Since then, Malcolm has carved out a national and international career playing harpsichord and organ, with many recordings to his name. He also taught fulltime on the Degree course in Music at the Waterford Institute of Technology until his retirement. And he was organist and choirmaster at St Canice’s Cathedral in Kilkenny until he bowed out last year. Inistioge in Kilkenny is his home, where he and his wife Susan, reared their three, now grown-up daughters.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App

Download the Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App to access to Galway’s best-selling newspaper.

Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

Or purchase the Digital Edition for PC, Mac or Laptop from Pagesuite  HERE.

Get the Connacht Tribune Live app
The Connacht Tribune Live app is the home of everything that is happening in Galway City and county. It’s completely FREE and features all the latest news, sport and information on what’s on in your area. Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

 

 

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CITY TRIBUNE

Charting the changes in how we use language

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Not many people these days would be able to point out a ‘collya’ in the Claddagh. PHOTO: JOE O'SHAUGHNESSY.

Galway Heritage with Peadar O’Dowd

Nearly three years ago, one of my columns appeared under the heading, ‘Words Are a Crucial Part of Our Heritage’.  The passing of time has only served to highlight the importance of this.  Not surprisingly, as 2020 closed to the disconcerting sound of fireworks going off across Galway City, the lack of clarity around words only added to the hardship and confusion already suffered by the population during the unforgettable first year of Covid, and all it entailed.  Some of the confusion came from issues around identifying the pandemic itself in its early stages, as well as naming it.

From its appearance at the start of the year, when it was classed as another virus to add to a long list that predated it, we seemed to have settled, initially at least, on calling it the Coronavirus, a title still it seems, much used in the USA.  We were told from ‘on high’ in that country that it would be over perhaps by Easter!  We in Ireland got to know the pandemic as Covid-19 – but even now, with new variations of the virus coming onstream, we may be off on the word game yet again.

More confusing were new words used in explaining its spread, such as ‘asymptomatic’, a mouthful, if ever there was one.  Then, there was the initial confusion about the usage of the words ‘positive’ and ‘negative’, as given to describe the results of testing for Covid-19.   Normally, the former is the good thing and the latter the bad outcome, but not here.  Think of it!

As well, a whole plethora of unfamiliar words came into general use, such as ‘pandemic’ itself, (often pronounced ‘pendemic’ in the States), as well as ‘mitigation’, just to mention two.   Here in Ireland, where we have the ‘gift of the gab’, we were soon indulging in such delights as ‘staycations’, as well as ‘wet pubs’, and we even brought back ‘shebeens’ yet again into general conversation.

For more, read this week’s Galway City Tribune.

Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App

Download the Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App to access to Galway’s best-selling newspaper.

Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

Or purchase the Digital Edition for PC, Mac or Laptop from Pagesuite  HERE.

Get the Connacht Tribune Live app
The Connacht Tribune Live app is the home of everything that is happening in Galway City and county. It’s completely FREE and features all the latest news, sport and information on what’s on in your area. Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

 

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