Thursday, June 21, 2012

House Concert Coming


 Niamh Parsons & Graham Dunne

Sunday, June 24 at 3pm
The Mattabesett Canoe Club, 80 Harbor Dr., Middletown
Suggested donation: $20 general, $10 students, $7 children 12 & under
For reservations, please call Jody Cormack 860-983-7963
or email
(come early for a wonderful lunch or spoil your dinner with appetizers, on the riverfront!)

          Niamh Parsons has come to be known as one of the most distinctive voices in Irish music. Her voice has drawn  comparisons to such venerated singers as Dolores Keane, June Tabor and Sandy Denny. The great Scottish balladeer Archie Fisher said of Niamh, "a songstress like her comes along once or twice in a generation." It has been said that Niamh Parsons may not be the most famous Irish Balladeer, but many feel she's the best. Described in the Boston Herald as both emotionally haunting and tonally as clear as crystal, Niamh's albums have been 'must-have' collector's items for any lover of songs and singing. Niamh has recorded six studio albums and one live album to date. For the last 9 years, Niamh has been playing in a duet with Ennis-based Graham Dunne—there is a spiritual bond between Niamh and Graham when they perform, which draws out the essence of the songs. Growing up in Dublin, Niamh's music loving parents brought herself and her sister to the local folk club in The Old Shieling Hotel in Raheny, where the young girls were exposed to songs and singing from the likes of The Johnstons, Emmet Spiceland, Sweeney's Men, Dolly McMahon, Danny Doyle and many of the other musicians and singers that were playing in Folk clubs at that ti Throughout her career, Niamh has performed with a wide variety of artists, and has appeared at nearly every prestigious folk festival on either side of the Atlantic. As a member of the traditional Irish band Arcady (led by De Dannan's Johnny "Ringo" McDonagh), she sang on their Shanachie recording Many Happy Returns. She appeared before President Clinton and Irish Prime Minister Bertie Ahern in Capitol Hill, Washington, joined Grammy Award winner Paul Winter for an album and a summer concert in New York, and performed on "A Prairie Home Companion" when the show broadcast live from Dublin. For more information, go to
Young Dubliner Graham Dunne is a well-known guitarist in the Irish Traditional music scene. He is known for his sensitivity of touch as an accompanist, and his fiery ability as a soloist. Based in Ennis, Graham works as a full time guitarist with Niamh Parsons. For a year he worked with Sean Tyrell with whom he toured Ireland, France and Belgium, as well as working on the music for a documentary entitled "Necklace of Wrens"- a biographical account of the poet Michael Hartnett. In the summer of 1999, he performed in Sean's critically acclaimed musical revival of "The Midnight Court" in Galway's Premier Theatre Venue, The Town Hall. He regularly worked with the Mary Custy Band who are based in Ennis, where he can often be found in sessions around the area. For the past nine years, Graham has been working with top traditional vocalist Niamh Parsons with whom he has toured the UK, Germany, Holland, Italy, Belgium, Spain, Denmark, Finland, Norway, Switzerland, USA, Australia and Ireland. Graham is also the featured guitarist on Niamh's last four albums -'In My Prime' which was nominated for the BBC Radio 2 Album of the Year award and also for the AIFM Album of the Year award in the USA. The second album, 'Heart's Desire', received rave reviews upon its release in May 2002. Produced by top guitarist Dennis Cahill, Graham can be heard here delivering two sets of tunes - a set of reels and a self-penned set of jigs. Accompanied by Dennis, these instrumentals add greatly to the album's musical content. In addition, Graham can be heard on Niamh's most recent albums, "Old Simplicity" and Live at Flyde. In 2001 Graham arranged and recorded a set of jigs with famed piper Mick Coyne, on the album 'Both sides of the Coyne'. Graham also enjoys playing jazz with Mick when he is not touring with Niamh. In summer of 2002, Graham attended the Louis Stewart Jazz School in Kilbaha, Co. Clare where he played the closing concert as part of a guitar quintet featuring Louis himself. In September 2004, Graham released his first solo CD - GIOTÁRAÍ - on his own label Gramsham Records.

Upcoming house concerts:
July 28th (Sat.) Dermot Byrne, Floriane Blancke, Brid Harper 
Sept. 15th (Sat. 8pm) Paddy Keenan
Oct. 15 or 16 (Tues. or Wed. 8pm) John Doyle
Nov. 2 (Friday 8pm) Cathal McConnell and Gerry O’Conner

It's nice to see Ms. Cormack has a new home for her "House Concerts". More space gives her the opportunity for larger audiences and more flexibility in choosing entertainers.  Good for her, good for the audiences of Celtic music and good for Middletown!

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