Seosamh O HEanai: Nar Fhagha Me Bas ChoicheLiam MacConlomaire (author)
Mixed media product Published: 01/11/2007
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"Seosamh O hEanai: Nar fhagha me bas choiche" is the biography of legendary folk singer Seosamh O hEanai, or Joe Heaney. Joe Heaney was from Carna in west Galway and grew up immersed in a singing tradition which he was to bring to an international audience during his lifetime. Considered the best sean-nos singer of all time, he was a central figure in the folk-music revival in Ireland, the UK and the US, and his contemporaries included Ewan MacColl and Peggy Seeger, the Clancy Brothers, Ronnie Drew, Luke Kelly, Seamus Ennis and Willie Clancy.Like many great artists, he was not an easy man to like and his reputation as cantankerous and arrogant endures; however, even those who disliked him do not deny his brilliance. Heaney was a gifted singer and his performances have been described as mesmerizing. He was passionate about his art and was acutely aware of his responsibility to convey to his audience, through his singing, the history of those who went before him and who had sustained the tradition through untold hardships. Liam Clancy said of his performances at the 1965 Newport Folk Festival in the US: Joe really bowled them over...When he got immersed in a song he became possessed by that song. And it was like he was a medium. It wasn't an individual that was singing. It came out of everything that had gone before him. And anybody who ever watched him singing got that sense of not just the individual but the importance of what he had come from."Seosamh O hEanai: Nar fhagha me bas choiche" is a fascinating book for anyone with an interest in music and includes extracts from interviews (in English and Irish) with Peggy Seeger, Ronnie Drew, Liam Clancy, Tom Munnelly, John Faulkner, Joe Burke, Mick Moloney, Michael Davitt, Gabe Sullivan, Tony MacMahon and Paddy Glackin.The book details the life of a great artist, and includes descriptions of Heaney's time in England during the fifties, when he was heavily involved in the folk-club scene, his time in Dublin during the ballad boom of the sixties, when he was a fixture in O'Donoghues pub, and his emigration to the US, where he brought his art to a whole new audience through his work in two universities, and where he was awarded the National Heritage Award for Excellence in Folk Arts, the highest honour which can be awarded to a traditional artist in the US. Joe Heaney died in Seattle in 1984. The book includes a CD of previously unreleased tracks, taken mainly from RTE's Proinsias Mac Aonghusa collection.
Publisher: Clo Iar-Chonnacht
Edition: illustrated edition
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