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*Clare trio Dermot Sheedy, Sean Lyons & Aisling Lyons feature on the series. Photograph: Ruth Griffin 

A new three-part online concert and chart series kicks off this Thursday as part of glór’s folk music strand this spring.

Paula Carroll, a presenter of The West Wind on Clare FM will curate Folk Nights at Glór which sees emerging and well established artists take to the stage at the Ennis venue to perform while also pulling up a chair to talk making music in a radically altered Arts world.

Series producer, Paula described the series which begins streaming on Thursday April 8th at 8pm and runs until Thursday May 6th as “folk-clubs for our times”. The Scariff native outlined, “Glór’s auditorium is mostly empty these days, but it’s still an atmospheric place, maybe even more so. I wanted to fill that auditorium with music, even if the only audience were the crew. And then present that music to the world. It felt absolutely magical to have these great musicians perform for us”.

Paula Carroll. Photograph: Ruth Griffin 

After each performance, the guests took to the armchairs “to chat about how music-making has changed in today’s world and what it might now mean for musicians and for us the audiences,” Paula explained.

“I know we’re all confined to our couches for entertainment these days, but through the wonders of technology, you can still join the conversation, we can still have a collective experience,” the creator of the highly popular Kitchen Sessions explained.

Limerick duo Maria Ryan and Ger O’Donnell are first up for the online series. From Pallagreen, Maria is a violinist, fiddle player and singer, she co-founded the highly acclaimed music ensemble Strung at Cork School of Music (CIT). In recent times she has also toured internationally with Galician piper Carlos Nuñez, played with Crash Ensemble and the Irish National Opera. Multi-instrumentalist Ger already had a large following online for collaborations prior to lockdowns.

Maria Ryan and Ger O’Donnell in conversation with Paula Carroll. Photograph: Ruth Griffin 

It will be a Clare special on Thursday April 22nd when Dermot Sheedy, Aisling Lyons and Sean Lyons take to the stage. Dermot first came to prominence as the percussionist with ‘Ciorras’, a band formed by Donal Lunny as part of the TG4 series ‘Lorg Lunny’. He is best known as a member of Hermitage Green. A five-time All-Ireland Fleadh Cheoil winner, Aisling is one of the rising starts of the Irish harp world and her brother Sean is one of the county’s most sensitive folk singers and guitarists.

Steve Cooney. Photograph: Ruth Griffin 

Dermot Byrne and Steve Cooney close out the series on May 6th. Dermot shot to fame as a child prodigy on the accordion in his native Donegal, and is still considered one of the finest accordion players in the tradition. He has lived in and around Co. Clare for many years. Steve is best known for his development of an influential style of guitar accompaniment to Irish dance music which he developed in West Kerry in his legendary collaboration with Séamus Begley. Despite participating in the making of over 250 albums, he only recently released his first ever solo CD – to huge critical acclaim. In 2020 he was given the RTÉ Folk Awards ‘Lifetime Achievement’ Award.


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