94 episodes

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.
NOTE:
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.

Blarney Pilgrims Irish Music Podcast Darren O'Mahony, Dominic Black

    • Music
    • 5.0 • 44 Ratings

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.
NOTE:
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.

    Nuala Kennedy Interview (Flute, whistle, singing)

    Nuala Kennedy Interview (Flute, whistle, singing)

    An absolute stoater! A Great Session = 'The maximum fun possible, every night!' From Dundalk to Belfast, and finding freedom in Edinburgh. Hamish Henderson and the wild nights in Sandy Bell's. Mike One-Shirt and Luke Plumb; Deaf Shepherd and the great encouragers like Cathal McConnell. The consolations of music. House sessions in Venice Beach, meeting the daughter of the man who wrote Thíos Cois na Trá, and so much more. Awesome.


    In this episode Nuala plays and sings...


    Kitty Gone A Milking
    Táimse Im' Chodladh
    The King's House (Scottish retreat march)
    The Flower of Magherally (from the singing of Cathal McConnell)
    Onwards and Upwards
    and
    Thíos Cois na Trá


    You can find Nuala's music here:
    https://www.nualakennedy.com/store


    And since we were talking about it - here's a link to Sandy Bell's in Edinburgh:
    https://sandybells.com/


    Nuala mentioned meeting the poet (critic and activist) Hamish Henderson there once night. Here's a great bio of him from the Scottish Poetry Library:
    https://www.scottishpoetrylibrary.org.uk/poet/hamish-henderson/


    Maybe his best known work is The Freedom Come All Ye - a great (GREAT) anti-imperialist song. Peformed here by (who else) Dick Gaughan.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3nLGKFTH5sw


    ...So come all ye at hame wi’ Freedom,
    Never heed whit the hoodies croak for doom.
    In your hoose a’ the bairns o’ Adam
    Can find breid, barley-bree and painted room.
    When MacLean meets wi’s freens in Springburn
    A’ the roses and geans will turn tae bloom,
    And a black boy frae yont Nyanga
    Dings the fell gallows o’ the burghers doon.


    Dick Gaughan, who I once saw play in the old BBC concert hall at 5 Queen Street, Edinburgh. Around the time when Nuala was hanging out just across town in Sandy Bell's.


    We seem to say this every week, but what a treat, this episode. Thanks Nuala.


    --


    To listen, stream or download simply click a link below:


    Our website: https://blarneypilgrims.com
    iTunes: https://apple.co/2A6tUPm
    Google Podcasts: http://bit.ly/3cPTkis
    Spotify: https://spoti.fi/3eIwBFy


    Or alternatively, simply search your favourite podcast app for the Blarney Pilgrims.


    --


    Become a Patron Saint of the Blarney Pilgrims Irish Music Podcast.


    We want the podcast to be free to listen to for as many people as possible. But without the support from at least some of you we couldn’t keep putting out an episode a week. That’s why we’re asking you to become a Patron (Saint) of the podcast. www.patreon.com/blarneypilgrims


    So, for the price of a pint, or a half pint for that matter, you can help keep this show on the road and be safe in the knowledge you have a halo above your head.


    For your good deed you will secure your place in traditional Irish music podcast heaven. But most importantly, you’ll have helped pay for the other 99% of listeners that don’t or can’t chip in.


    And that, my friend, is a hell-of-a-nice thing to do.


    Darren & Dom


    www.blarneypilgrims.com
    www.patreon.com/blarneypilgrims
    www.facebook.com/blarneypilgrimspodcast
    www.instagram.com/blarneypilgrimspodcast
    www.twitter.com/BlarneyPodcast

    • 1 hr 44 min
    Jimmy Mullarkey (Accordion)

    Jimmy Mullarkey (Accordion)

    'I could play reels all night if I knew enough of them.' Country Sligo in the '50s and '60s, to London then Sydney. Father, mother and uncle playing the fiddle, learning at country house dances and 'having a go myself.' Ceili House on Radio Athlone, and looking forward to Friday night house dances. Falling in love with the accordion. Listening to the greats of the London scene; learning the box, digging trenches and labouring; Kentish Town and Holloway Road. Plenty of work in Sydney, and getting out and about playing for dancers.


    In this episode Jimmy plays:


    George White's and The Galway Rambler
    The Haunted House Set
    The Stone of Destiny
    The Sally Gardens and The Sligo Maid
    ('...two of the old favourites I learned when I was growing up...')


    The picture of Jimmy that we're using for this episode was taken by Ian Stewart - thanks for permission to use it, Ian.


    The players you can hear on the audio recorded at Tangambalanga are Jimmy, Joe Fitzgerald, Jamie Molloy, Jody Moran, Gerry McKeague, Edel McBride, Kit Joyce, Declan Simpson, John Joe Noonan, Paul Gallagher, Ian Stewart and others. Apologies to anybody I've missed - it was that kind of weekend.


    To listen, stream or download simply click a link below:


    Our website: https://blarneypilgrims.com
    iTunes: https://apple.co/2A6tUPm
    Google Podcasts: http://bit.ly/3cPTkis
    Spotify: https://spoti.fi/3eIwBFy


    Or alternatively, simply search your favourite podcast app for the Blarney Pilgrims.


    --


    Become a Patron Saint of the Blarney Pilgrims Irish Music Podcast.


    We want the podcast to be free to listen to for as many people as possible. But without the support from at least some of you we couldn’t keep putting out an episode a week. That’s why we’re asking you to become a Patron (Saint) of the podcast. www.patreon.com/blarneypilgrims


    So, for the price of a pint, or a half pint for that matter, you can help keep this show on the road and be safe in the knowledge you have a halo above your head.


    For your good deed you will secure your place in traditional Irish music podcast heaven. But most importantly, you’ll have helped pay for the other 99% of listeners that don’t or can’t chip in.


    And that, my friend, is a hell-of-a-nice thing to do.


    Darren & Dom


    www.blarneypilgrims.com
    www.patreon.com/blarneypilgrims
    www.facebook.com/blarneypilgrimspodcast
    www.instagram.com/blarneypilgrimspodcast
    www.twitter.com/BlarneyPodcast

    • 1 hr 3 min
    Gráinne Brady Interview (Fiddle)

    Gráinne Brady Interview (Fiddle)

    From Cavan to Glasgow. Party houses and late night tapes. Finding your feet in sessions that suit. Creating your own space to play. The Navvy poet Patrick MacGill, The Road Across The Hill, Newcomer and The Children Of The Dead End.


    In this episode we play:


    The Road Across the Hills
    Newcomer
    By and By
    Atone


    To listen, stream or download simply click a link below:


    Our website: https://blarneypilgrims.com
    iTunes: https://apple.co/2A6tUPm
    Google Podcasts: http://bit.ly/3cPTkis
    Spotify: https://spoti.fi/3eIwBFy


    Or alternatively, simply search your favourite podcast app for the Blarney Pilgrims.


    To buy Gráinne's music go here: https://grainnebrady.bandcamp.com/


    Visit her website here: https://www.grainnebradyfiddle.com/


    And to follow on socials go here:
    https://facebook.com/grainnebradyfiddle
    https://instagram.com/grainnebradyfiddle
    https://twitter.com/grainnebrady
    https://www.youtube.com/user/bradyg6/featured


    The artist that I spoke about that designed Gráinne's covers is called Somhairle MacDonald and you'll find him here:
    https://www.somhairle.co.uk/
    https://www.instagram.com/fatherofschmo/?hl=en


    Thanks fo much for this Gráinne. I can't wait to hear what's next.


    Cheers


    --


    Become a Patron Saint of the Blarney Pilgrims Irish Music Podcast.


    We want the podcast to be free to listen to for as many people as possible. But without the support from at least some of you we couldn’t keep putting out an episode a week. That’s why we’re asking you to become a Patron (Saint) of the podcast. www.patreon.com/blarneypilgrims


    So, for the price of a pint, or a half pint for that matter, you can help keep this show on the road and be safe in the knowledge you have a halo above your head.


    For your good deed you will secure your place in traditional Irish music podcast heaven. But most importantly, you’ll have helped pay for the other 99% of listeners that don’t or can’t chip in.


    And that, my friend, is a hell-of-a-nice thing to do.


    Darren & Dom


    www.blarneypilgrims.com
    www.patreon.com/blarneypilgrims
    www.facebook.com/blarneypilgrimspodcast
    www.instagram.com/blarneypilgrimspodcast
    www.twitter.com/BlarneyPodcast

    • 1 hr 14 min
    Angela Usher Interview (Banjo, whistle, tenor guitar)

    Angela Usher Interview (Banjo, whistle, tenor guitar)

    Tin whistle with Marian Egan (Flannery) in Hulme. Touring New Zealand and Australia. First banjos and joining Curragh. Toss the Feathers and choosing work over the road. The social side of learning. Joe and Jack Cooley and the lost tapes from America. The Love of Lucia, Kitty’s Twelve Roses and The Gort Mile.


    In this episode Angela plays:


    Port Chuilinn / The Munster Buttermilk / Bobby Casey's (Banjo jigs)
    The Coalminers / Patsy Toughey's / Finbar Dwyais (Tin whistle set)
    Flat Water Fran / Little Fair Cannavans (Tenor Guitar)
    The Rainy Day / My Margann / Coleman's Cross (Banjo reels)


    To listen, stream or download simply click a link below:


    Our website: https://blarneypilgrims.com
    iTunes: https://apple.co/2A6tUPm
    Google Podcasts: http://bit.ly/3cPTkis
    Spotify: https://spoti.fi/3eIwBFy


    Or alternatively, simply search your favourite podcast app for the Blarney Pilgrims.


    To buy Angela's album 'The Gort Mile' go here: https://www.angelaushermusic.com/shop/


    To read her beautiful liner notes go here: https://www.angelaushermusic.com/about-the-album/


    To follow Angela online go here: https://www.facebook.com/ange.durcan


    --


    Podcast Recommendations:


    At the top of the show Darren mentions a rake of podcasts he thinks are worth your time and money. Give them a whirl and let us know what you think.


    Irish Music Stories by Shannon Heaton: https://shannonheatonmusic.com/ims/


    Tell Me A Story by Eddie Lenihan: https://shows.acast.com/tell-me-a-story-with-eddie-lenihan


    Fire Draw Near by Ian Lynch: https://campsite.bio/firedrawnear


    Blindboy Podcast: https://play.acast.com/s/blindboy


    Get Up In The Cool by Cameron DeWhitt: https://getupinthecool.fireside.fm/


    That's it for another week. Angela thank you so much for all your time, chats and tunes.


    Cheers,


    --


    Become a Patron Saint of the Blarney Pilgrims Podcast.


    We want the podcast to be free to listen to for as many people as possible. But without the support from at least some of you we couldn’t keep putting out an episode a week. That’s why we’re asking you to become a Patron (Saint) of the podcast. www.patreon.com/blarneypilgrims


    So, for the price of a pint, or a half pint for that matter, you can help keep this show on the road and be safe in the knowledge you have a halo above your head.


    For your good deed you will secure your place in traditional Irish music podcast heaven. But most importantly, you’ll have helped pay for the other 99% of listeners that don’t or can’t chip in.


    And that, my friend, is a hell-of-a-nice thing to do.


    Darren & Dom


    www.blarneypilgrims.com
    www.patreon.com/blarneypilgrims
    www.facebook.com/blarneypilgrimspodcast
    www.instagram.com/blarneypilgrimspodcast
    www.twitter.com/BlarneyPodcast

    • 1 hr 32 min
    Enda Murray Interview (Songs of the Last Convict Ship)

    Enda Murray Interview (Songs of the Last Convict Ship)

    Irish Fenian rebellion prisoners and the songs of the last convict ship to Australia. Ned Of The Hill, John Boyle O'Reilly and Exile In The Kingdom. The Stardust Hotel and the birth of Drogheda Boxing Club. The London squat scene, Jamaican sound systems and the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994. Secret Family Recipes and looking back at tradition with rose tinted glasses. No Bother.


    In this episode we hear:


    O'Niell's March
    Last Rose Of Summer
    Freedom - Exile In The Kingdom
    Ned Of The Hill
    Goodnight Sweetheart


    Make sure you check out Enda's ABC Australia documentary 'Songs of the last convict shi‪p‬'. You'll find it here on the ABC's site: https://www.abc.net.au/radionational/programs/the-history-listen/songs-of-the-last-convict-ship/12767044


    If it's geo-restricted in your country you can listen as a podcast via Apple Podcasts: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/songs-of-the-last-convict-ship/id1337405260?i=1000495597902


    You'll find everything you need to know about Enda's film work on his website, including the brilliant 'Secret Family Recipes' here: http://virusmedia.com.au/


    Enda also sent us the video he made for Exile In The Kingdom back in the day. Exile In the Kingdom features Tony Conaghy, John Hodgins, Joe McCormack and Gavin Kierans. You can watch it here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TeWesoxGPE0&feature=emb_logo


    The book I mentioned about the socio-political effects and consequences of ecstasy and rave culture is called 'Altered State: The Story of Ecstasy Culture and Acid House'. https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/269851.Altered_State


    --


    To listen, stream or download simply click a link below:


    Our website: https://blarneypilgrims.com
    iTunes: https://apple.co/2A6tUPm
    Google Podcasts: http://bit.ly/3cPTkis
    Spotify: https://spoti.fi/3eIwBFy


    Or alternatively, simply search your favourite podcast app for the Blarney Pilgrims.


    --


    Become a Patron Saint of the Blarney Pilgrims Podcast.


    We want the podcast to be free to listen to for as many people as possible. But without the support from at least some of you we couldn’t keep putting out an episode a week. That’s why we’re asking you to become a Patron (Saint) of the podcast. www.patreon.com/blarneypilgrims


    So, for the price of a pint, or a half pint for that matter, you can help keep this show on the road and be safe in the knowledge you have a halo above your head.


    For your good deed you will secure your place in traditional Irish music podcast heaven. But most importantly, you’ll have helped pay for the other 99% of listeners that don’t or can’t chip in.


    And that, my friend, is a hell-of-a-nice thing to do.


    Darren & Dom


    www.blarneypilgrims.com
    www.patreon.com/blarneypilgrims
    www.facebook.com/blarneypilgrimspodcast
    www.instagram.com/blarneypilgrimspodcast
    www.twitter.com/BlarneyPodcast

    • 2 hrs 9 min
    Maċa Interview (Fiddle, guitar, bodhran)

    Maċa Interview (Fiddle, guitar, bodhran)

    Buying your first guitar with your confirmation money. Playing 182 tunes in two hours. Winning Réalta agus Gaolta. Cutting your teeth in Raglan Road Orlando. Finding a mentor in Kíla's Rónán Ó Snodaigh. Translating the craic. Avoiding the abyss of lockdown and a casual Disney Princess flex.


    In this episode Maċa play:


    Devil's Den
    Something Blue
    Feel Like Home
    Call On You


    Buy Maċa's new album 'Spiral' here:
    https://macaofficial.com/


    Follow them on the socials here:
    https://www.facebook.com/macaceol
    https://www.instagram.com/ceol.maca/
    https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC1L87V_SmApBE1phXvDw8_g


    Catch Maċa live during the Irish Music Magazine's St. Patrick's Day From Home Facebook Live gig.
    https://www.facebook.com/events/2823877824517871


    Finally here's that link to the Paddy Glackin and Jolyon Jackson 'Hidden Ground' album I mention at the top of the podcast. NOT TO BE MISSED!
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4UTjsLyEgog&ab_channel=PereGrino


    To listen, stream or download this episode simply click a link below:


    Our website: https://blarneypilgrims.com
    iTunes: https://apple.co/2A6tUPm
    Google Podcasts: http://bit.ly/3cPTkis
    Spotify: https://spoti.fi/3eIwBFy


    Or alternatively, simply search your favourite podcast app for the Blarney Pilgrims.


    Saoirse, Naoise and Ciara thank you so much for everything getting this chat together. Legends!


    Cheers,
    Darren


    --


    Become a Patron Saint of the Blarney Pilgrims Podcast.


    We want the podcast to be free to listen to for as many people as possible. But without the support from at least some of you we couldn’t keep putting out an episode a week. That’s why we’re asking you to become a Patron (Saint) of the podcast. www.patreon.com/blarneypilgrims


    So, for the price of a pint, or a half pint for that matter, you can help keep this show on the road and be safe in the knowledge you have a halo above your head.


    For your good deed you will secure your place in traditional Irish music podcast heaven. But most importantly, you’ll have helped pay for the other 99% of listeners that don’t or can’t chip in.


    And that, my friend, is a hell-of-a-nice thing to do.


    Darren & Dom


    www.blarneypilgrims.com
    www.patreon.com/blarneypilgrims
    www.facebook.com/blarneypilgrimspodcast
    www.instagram.com/blarneypilgrimspodcast
    www.twitter.com/BlarneyPodcast

    • 1 hr 32 min

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5
44 Ratings

44 Ratings

Badger Magnet ,

A wonderful connection to the world of Irish trad

Cracking interviews and wonderful music, this podcast is a great way to connect with the Irish trad scene, and feel like a part of it. It’s also a very worthy project, documenting the fascinating stories of important figures in the community (young and old) and following their musical ancestry, exploring different styles and their origins, and generally tracing the shape of this wonderful community.

As a new convert to the scene (and a budding fiddle player), this is an inspiring and engrossing listen.

Thanks, lads!

Rhys Crimmin ,

The best!

The best podcast I have ever listened too. Just love it and hang out for each new Episode to get lost in. Onya lads!

yatesy7 ,

Great work gents.

Thoroughly enjoying.

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