Sliabh Luachra Series 1

New music series and record label launch.

Part of my programme that I made up for the job of Sliabh Luachra Musician in Residence. In this one I chat with PJ Teahan and Raymond O’Sullivan about the work that went into creating the new archive at, there’s six young musicians playing music they got from that archive, The Dan O’Connell Award is given to a new recipient and I launch a new record label and the first release – a mini album of newly composed music by the great Sliabh Luachra accordion player Bryan O’Leary.

Tranquility in Tureencahill

Scullys Fest album 2020

Everyone needs to get into Sliabh Luachra music. So to know anything about that amazing cool wild unbelievably addictive beautiful musical stuff you need to own at least seven albums from the Scullys Fest label. Here’s one of the coolest ever..

Scullys Fest Concert 2020

Scullys Fest is such a highlight in the musical life of our area that we had to mark the event with an online concert.

I’d normally spend the weekend and the weeks before the festival racing around and often being so busy that it I might not even get to enjoy the craic until the final few events. This year July was so easy going in comparison. Myself and Dad asked all the local gang and some of our regular visitors from abroad to send us a a tune or two and I edited them together into a concert.

Paddy Jones RIP

Paddy Jones passed away on the 30th of May 2020. He was a magic musician and a heart warming person to be around. Until 2018 I had only admired him from afar so I jumped at the opportunity to be interview for a video in 2018.

I had first saw Paddy Jones in May 2014 when he gave a lecture about Sliabh Luachra music at my friends house in Ballydesmond.

Every time I met him since he was so friendly and helpful with lovely bits of advice about life and music. I could listen to him play the fiddle for ever because he had the “draíocht”. Rest in peace Paddy Jones

Insight into Paddy from Rus Bradburd

Rus Bradburd is one of the people responsible for the video series on Paddy being made. Rus wrote a book about his experiences coming to live in Tralee to coach basketball and learning fiddle from Paddy Jones.

This is the book:

Rus is here on a podcast about Irish Music called The Blarney Pilgrims. He talks in depth about his time learning with Paddy. He plays some nice tunes and there’s a lovely clip of Paddy playing an air.

1921 – An IRA Column

There’s a painting in Aras an Uachtarain [the Irish President’s residence] by Sean Keating called “1921 – An IRA Column”. My great grandfather Roger Kiely and seven other men are depicted in the painting. In April 2019 the President Michael D Higgins held a reception for the relatives of the men in the picture. It was a lovely afternoon and the Presidents talk was brilliant. He was so prepared, informed and involved with the subject – he’s great 🙂

Afterwards I was asked to play a tune. The air I played was adapted from a tune that I heard on a tape of the fiddler Maurice O’Keeffe from Kiskeam Co Cork. Maurice learnt fiddle from a man called John Lenihan at a house in the same townland where Roger Kiely lived. I know from conversations with my mother that Roger played the fiddle too. He was a fan of slow airs and sad music so it felt like the right tune to play. I said “miserable” in the video but that was a slip of the tongue with me echoing my Mam’s opinion on slow airs 🙂 .
Thanks very much to Declan of Phaeton Publishing for sending me the video footage.

Here’s another video about the painting:

And here’s a very good post on the site:

Maurice O’Keeffe Festival Fiddle Workshop 2020

Maurice O’Keeffe Festival 2020 has been cancelled due to Covid-19 – It’s very sad 🙁

11am – 12:30 Fiddle Workshop Kiskeam Community Centre
with Eoin Stan O’Sullivan
Adm €10

I’ll be giving a workshop for fiddlers of all ages. Similar to 2019 I’ll be teaching a few nice tunes associated with Maurice O’Keeffe and giving a few tips about bowing, fingering and getting the local style. The workshop will cost €10 and anyone wanting to partake would need a basic grasp of ABC, staff notation or be able to pick up a tune by ear. PM me or call me on +353879100087 if you want more info.

Maurice O’Keeffe is a big hero to me and it’s a massive honour to be asked to give this workshop.