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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

The Craic is Back as county and city come alive for Culture Night

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Naoise Sheridan with her currach which will be on display at the Quadrangle of NUIG. PHOTO JOE O'SHAUGHNESSY.

The flagship event of Culture Night in Galway City this Friday evening, September 17, will be Night-vision, an audio-visual experience in the grounds of St Nicholas’ Collegiate Church from 8.30pm. Ambient, electronic and experimental sounds will play alongside a light installation that will illuminate the church and surrounding area. It’s presented by the group, Give Us The Night and Galway Light.

Visual arts include Curracha, an exhibition of 21 unique painted currach sculptures, commissioned to celebrate 21 years of Inis Oírr’s arts centre, Áras Éanna. It’s in NUIG’s Quadrangle from 11am.

Painting, sculpture, textile, installation and film, the work of 21 graduates from GMIT’s Masters in Creative practice course will be showcased from 3pm in the institute.

Art in Mind on Dominick Street will have a group show of sculpture, painting, ceramics and photography from 4pm. The launch of the Galway Cartoon Festival Programme will be at 5pm at the Cornstore on Middle Street, while the Claddagh Art Collective has an exhibition by Joe Westcott and Jarlath Tourish focusing on their tattoo and art studio.

Galway Arts Centre on Dominick Street, which will stay open until 11pm, has a new exhibition from Ger Sweeney, spanning ten years of his work. In Cross Street, Margaret Nolan will display Iconic, drawings and collage, in the windows of Tigh Neachtain and 2 Wild Geese.

At sunset, multi-media artist Marqu VR will create 3D illusions on the Town Hall Theatre, with a display of architectural projection-mapping. And in The Latin Quarter, Dolores Lyne has curated a showcase of eight Galway City art collectives, which will be displayed on TV screens at The Dáil Bar and Front Door pub.

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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Connacht Tribune

New album sees Blue Fish Diamond producing a gem

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Blue Fish Diamond... second album due for release.

Groove Tube with Cian O’Connell

Dublin indie-folk group Blue Fish Diamond have established themselves as one of the more prolific and compelling acts on the city’s circuit since their formation in late 2016. And with a wealth of live experience built up over that five-year period, the six-piece are set to add to their studio catalogue next month with the announcement of a second full-length LP.

Though their sound has evolved since 2018’s From Dark to Light, the band’s new record continues to channel emotive, often narrative ballads.

Frozen Stars on the Night is set for release on October 28. Its ten tracks are devoted to the scope of human emotion experienced by frontman Jim Murphy himself and the family and friends around him.

Given his grá for the form, it is no surprise to see the group move onto a sophomore album at this relatively early stage in their development.

“I suppose ultimately, it’s a piece of art,” Jim explains.

“Having a collection of songs with some sort of unifying theme to them is very appealing. From a commercial point of view, I think albums are a tougher sell for up-and-coming bands as opposed to established artists.

“If Hozier is putting out another album or something, people would be chomping at the bit to get their hands on it but it’s something we decided we wanted to do. We’ve been releasing singles too and some of the tracks that will be on the album have been released as singles.”

Shay Sweeney (drums), Ronan Quinn (bass), Laura Ryder (piano), Axel McDonald (lead guitar) and Matilda O’Mahony (backing vocals) complete the Blue Fish Diamond line-up. Lyrically, the project is predominantly driven by Jim and, with this second record, he has settled on a concrete theme. Each song conveys a different emotion and the result is eclectic.

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

Baroque meets trad in Culture Night performance

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The Athenry Sinfonietta group with conductor Sinéad Hays.

The young musicians of Galway’s Athenry Music School Sinfonietta and four outstanding soloists from traditional and classical backgrounds will perform Raymond Deane’s A Baroque Session (with Carolan & Friends) for Culture Night on Friday, September 17.

It’s their debut performance of the piece and will be presented online at 7pm that evening.  The young musicians will be joined by Séamus McGuire and Niamh Crowley on violin and violist Kenneth Rice, all from the West Ocean String Quartet. Cellist Adrian Mantu from Galway’s ConTempo String Quartet is also taking part.

The concert will be conducted by Claregalway conductor and musician Sinéad Hayes, who has been leading weekly Zoom rehearsals with the Athenry performers in recent months.

“This performance is a testament to the amazing resilience and talent of these young musicians,” she says.

Crossing time and musical styles, A Baroque Session (with Carolan & Friends) brings the worlds of Irish traditional and European classical music together through the lens of contemporary composer Raymond Deane, who was born in Tuam and reared in Achill.

He was originally commissioned to compose the music in 2009 by the Young European Strings, Dublin, and is delighted to see it reaching a whole new audience.

“It’s very encouraging to see so many performers from the West of Ireland having an opportunity to be part of the project,” he feels.

“This is a unique project,” adds renowned traditional musician Séamus McGuire, the leader of the West Ocean String Quartet, “Much of our work as a quartet brings Irish and classical music together, so we are delighted to join Sinead and the young musicians as soloists for this.”

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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