Introduction: Absolutely Irish (02:20)
Mick Moloney welcomes guests to Absolutely Irish, a showcase held at the Irish Arts Center in New York’s Hell’s Kitchen. See two dancers perform.
"McNally's Row of Flats" (05:06)
Moloney, an Irish-born musicologist and folklorist for New York University gathers musicians for rehearsal two days before the show. Onstage, Moloney leads a performance of a Celtic folk song.
Fiddle Medley (04:59)
Athena Tergis, Eileen Ivers, and Liz Carroll showcase their talents. Tergis is known for performing with Riverdance, Ivers is a member of the band Immigrant Soul, and Carroll is a winner of the National Heritage award.
Mike Rafferty and Billy McComiskey (02:55)
Moloney introduces "the Mighty Raff," a flute player who hails from County Galway in Ireland. Rafferty recalls a performance that took place shortly after he arrived in America in 1949. He is accompanied by accordion player Billy McComiskey as he plays “The Trip to Parliament/The Torn Jacket.”
Seamus Egan and Eileen Ivers (05:56)
Both of these musicians are Irish-Americans who have won “All-Ireland” competitions. Doyle accompanies the duo on guitar for a medley that includes passages from “The Green Hills of Tyrol,” “The Fermory Lassies” and “The Pinch of Snuff.”
Ann McNulty (03:34)
"Ma" McNulty is an Irish immigrant and popular vaudeville performer. She started the Famous McNultys with members of her family and laid the foundations for an Irish music scene in New York.
"Flower of Kilkenny" (04:16)
Robbie O’Connell discusses the music of Irish singer-songwriter Elizabeth Cronin during rehearsal. O’Connell is joined by members of the Absolutely Irish band as he sings the traditional song, which he learned from Cronin’s version.
Niall O'Leary's Sand Dance (02:26)
Moloney and dancer Niall O’Leary discuss the origins of the sand dance and Kitty O’Neil, a performer who popularized the jig in New York in the 1870s. In concert, O’Leary does his own interpretation of the dance to “Kitty O’Neil’s Champion Jig.”
"Girl with the Brown Hair" (04:41)
Cherish the Ladies bandleader Joanie Madden leads a performance of “Cailin na Gruaige Doinne.” O’Leary and fellow dancer Darrah Carr make an appearance as the song builds to a climax.
"King's Shilling" (04:28)
Karan Casey, a founding member of the band Solas, discusses the origins of one of her favorite political numbers. Doyle and Egan join her for a performance of the song, which tells the story of a woman whose husband has gone off to war.
Liz Carroll and Joanie Madden (05:11)
Moloney recalls meeting Tommy Caulfield, the leader of Philadelphia’s Irish Musicians Union, when he first moved to America. The union had no female members for several decades, he explains by way of re-introducing Carroll and Madden, who he characterizes as pioneers.
Seamus Egan Medley (04:05)
Egan plays banjo as he leads the Absolutely Irish band in a medley that includes elements of traditional Irish tunes “Lark in the Morning,” “Cannabhan Ban” and “Humours of Ballyloughlin.”
Jo McNamara Dances (02:26)
Moloney introduces the elderly Irish dancer, who recalls her early days of “fancy dancing.” McNamara then galvanizes the crowd and shows she’s still got it with a display of her footwork.
"Fair London Town" (05:25)
McKeown, who sings for The Klezmatics, discusses a song about a woman who has given up domestic life for adventure on the high seas. “I’m particularly fond of songs like that,” she says before singing the ballad with the band.
Absolutely Irish Medley (06:31)
The Absolutely Irish band performs a medley that includes elements of “Jim O’Keefe’s,” “The Clog,” “The Star above the Garter,” and “The Hare in the Corn.” Then the Mighty Raff, O’Leary, and Carr join the ensemble for a set of reels.
"Leaving of Liverpool" (04:30)
Moloney and Doyle rehearse a song popularized by the Clancy Brothers in the 1960s. The audience sings along with the ballad during the concert’s grand finale.
Credits: Absolutely Irish! (00:36)
Credits: Absolutely Irish!
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