FRANKIE GAVIN & AIDAN COFFEY perform the songs "THE DERRY HORNPIPE / THE KILAVILL REEL" for BalconyTV.
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PRESENTED BY JOANNE COLLINS
PRODUCED BY JOE CUSACK, VIDA VISION & JOANNE COLLINS
2011 saw the release of the latest album by Frankie Gavin and De Dannan 'Jigs, Reels & Rock n' Roll' on the Tara Music label. The album is the culmination of years of work by Frankie to put the De Dannan back where it belongs as one of the foremost performing groups of Irish traditional music.
Frankie, who was born in 1956 in Corrandulla, Co. Galway, comes from a musical family: his father played fiddle, and his mother and all of her family played also. Frankie himself started playing the tin whistle at age four, making his first T.V. appearance three years later. At the age of ten years old Frankie began to play fiddle and by the time he was seventeen he was placed first in the All Ireland Fiddle Competition and in the All Ireland Flute Competition, both on the same day.
Mainly learning by ear, he was strongly influenced by the 78 recordings of Michael Coleman and James Morrison. Sessions in the Cellar Bar, Galway and later in Hughes' pub in Spiddal led to the formation of De Dannan in 1973.
His Currandulla connection came in useful when De Danann were looking for a singer, and it was he who came up with Dolores Keane from nearby Cahirlistrane. When De Danann brought out their first album, her singing of The Rambling Irishman gained a lot of airplay for the group. Although De Danann has had many high points over a quarter of a century, particularly with the singing of Dolores Keane and Maura O'Connell and the box playing of Mairtin O'Connor, Frankie's powerful virtuoso fiddle playing has always been at the core of the De Dannan sound.
He has recorded 16 albums with De Dannan as well as a number of solo albums, and three collaborations: one a tribute to Joe Cooley entitled 'Omos do Joe Cooley' with Paul Brock; a fine collaboration with fellow De Dannan member Alec Finn; and one with Stephane Grapelli exploring the languages of jazz and traditional music. He has also guested with The Rolling Stones on their 'Voodoo Lounge' album, with Keith Richards on 'Wingless Angels' and with Earl Scruggs the great banjo man.
Frankie Gavin & De Dannan
2009 saw Frankie Gavin back on the road and with new De Dannan members. The new line up which features Frankie Gavin (Fiddle/Flute/Whistles), Damien Mullane (Accordion), Eric Cunningham (Percussion/Flutes/Whistles), Mike Galvin (Bouzouki/Guitar) and Michelle Lally (Vocals). In Frankie's own words "This recording marks a special time in my musical life and follows a period where it wasn't possible for me to perform as part of De Dannan, a band I first formed and played with in Connemara in the early 1970's."
Aidan Coffey, was born in 1962 to a farming family near Bunmahon Co Waterford. There was no music in the household, but his grandmother was a good singer and a granduncle, long dead, had played the melodion. His mother recalls Aidan's reaction in the playpen, from the age of one, whenever Radio Eireann featured traditional music. He learned piano, piano-accordion and tin whistle at school where music played an important part in the curriculam, and recalls cycling the three miles into Kilmacthomas village, for classical piano lessons with Stanley Bowyer (father of Brendan, the showband singer), when he was ten or eleven years old.
Later, during his teens he was to spend a number of years learning the bagpipes and uilleann pipes. While music classes gave him a formal base, Aidan cultivated the traditional side of his musical persona through his own efforts. During the early 1980s, as he developed his style and repertoire, he received great encouragement from such local musicians as the late Tommy Norris, Tomas Morrissey, Gusty Carey, Nora Hogan, Jack Ryan and Mickey Dalton. He tuned in to traditional music programmes, such as those on Radio na Gaeltachta, where he heard recordings off all the prominent traditional musicians of the day. In his late teens, he taught himself to play the two-row B/C chromatic accordion.
CREDITS / SPONSORS
JO COLL PRODUCTIONS, VIDAVISION, CORK FILM CENTRE,
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