Thursday, 6 September 2012

Cork Folk Festival

Liz Carroll Liz CarrollAfter 32 years of exciting and unique programming, the Cork Folk Festival which takes place from October 3rd–7th once again presents a packed international line–up for 2012. Headlining this year’s festival will be one of folk music’s finest troubadours, Paul Brady who last played the Cork Festival in 1985.

The festival also features ace accordionist, Máirtín Ó ‘Connor, USA fiddler, Liz Carroll, Declan O Rourke, Martin Carthy & Dave Swarbrick (UK), Kan (UK), Guidewires (Ire/Brittany), Session Americana (USA), Pete Quinn & The London Lasses (Ire/UK), Kilfenora Céilí Band, The Outside Track (Canada), The Raw Bar Collective, and Serge Desaunay (France).William (Hammy) Hammond and Jim Walsh the organisers of the 33rd festival have put together a great programme; here is a survivor’s guide: The opening event in Shandon on Wednesday October 3rd features a song concert with Con Ó Drisceoil, Nell Ní Chróinín, and Caoimhín Ó Fearghail, Seán Ó Sé & Máire Ní Chéilleachair.

On Thursday the festival moves downtown to the Pavilion where Kan will play. This Band is a unique melding of the bold and beautiful flute virtuosity of Brian Finnegan from Armagh plus Aidan O’Rourke (Fiddle), James Goodwin (Drums) and on guitar Ian Stephenson. The night will also feature the new Cork/Kerry band Deluce’s Patient. Friday’s highlight is the International Fiddle Night at the Triskel Christchurch. The line–up includes Liz Carroll, Mairi Rankin, Dave Swarbrick, Aidan O’Rourke, Johnny McCarthy Group, The Outside Track (Canada), and Pete Quinn & The London Lasses.

Saturday will be one of those days when it’s physically impossible to get to all the events so choose carefully. It begins on the morning with workshops and the Trad Song Competition, won last year by Dannie Maidhíc Ó Suilleabháin. Then at 4pm at the Triskel, guitarist, Martin Carthy and fiddler, Dave Swarbrick play a concert. Saturday continues with that wonderful songsmith, Declan O‘Rourke at the Cork School of Music and then its back to the Triskel for two more events. The first is at 8pm, the Tune Makers Concert with a stellar line–up of Máirtín Ó Connor, Liz Carroll, Dave Flynn & Peadar O’Riada and later at 11pm, the Festival Club features Conal O Grada’s, Raw Bar Collective and Pádraig Rynne’s, Guidewires.

It’s up early on Sunday morning for the real festival with the box, fiddle & singers concerts and then the mighty Céilí Mór on Grand Parade. This year’s free open–air event features The Kilfenora Céilí Band, Guidewires and 10,000 dancers and callers.
Things are beginning to wind down in the evening but there’s still more to come. The first is Paul Brady at the Triskel and then finally the sensational Session Americana at the Crane Lane.

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