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Mountain Roots Weekend 2014 Cahersiveen

(May 02, 2014)

a great weekend


Having wound down from our First Mountain Roots Music Weekend here in Cahersiveen, I would just like to acknowledge a feeling of delight. It was a thoroughly enjoyable weekend and made all the effort more than worthwhile.

  Cahersiveen was the ideal setting for the “Roots”, as supporters were able to go from event to event easily due to their proximity and as observed by our good musician friend Mo O Connor “ being a flat street there were no hills to climb” True as hills are not good if you are lugging an instrument when enthusiastically trying to reach a session…. Getting oneself into a state of breathlessness is not good!

 We had a good following with visitors joining in with locals to take part in the happenings. I will try and scale down my synopsis of the last few days, which will be difficult as there was more than a lot to it.

 From the reaction and participation at initial opening in Camos, we knew were off to a good start. It was an atmospheric, well-attended and much appreciated event. Mary Horgan’s contribution was as we expected apt, inclusive and entertaining and we are so thankful to her for coming along and taking part,. Mary has contributed so much to music in the area and has always been more than accommodating when it comes to helping others in their love of music. Roots Music comes from the heart of it and Mary sure embodies that when it comes to generating enthusiasm for our cause, which is of course “ Putting Music First”

 Donna McCarthy launched her first album “ Young, Wild, Free” both her album and performance were greeted with high praise and enthusiasm. Donna was the first musical introduction to the weekend, and her love of music shone through her excellent contribution. We also launched " Talent Of Iveragh" 2015 on the night and invited musicians and sigers to consider entering. 

Next up was the launch of Talent of Iveragh 2013 original composition winners “ Alpha Q” performing at Franks. Alpha Q, a South Kerry Band. Adam Sullivan, Eoin Fitzgerald and Pierce Lynch, took the venue by storm and from the first song we knew we were seeing a very special group. Their talent and commitment will take them far and we were glad to be part of their successful evening.

 Music continued on for the night with the talents of David Birmingham and Alan Clifford sparking up at Murts. The Friday night Unplugged session at the Anchor more than lived up to it’s T-shirt a “ Mighty” session was beyond just a phrase on Friday night.

 Saturday we actually had sunshine at the market, local music wafted from the sound system, which was later, added to by Neil Dineen’s impromptu Session at Camos and when we found ourselves having a mini session at the market.

A highlight of the weekend was the “Moveable Feast” session at the Anchor, Visitors and locals joined to make it one of the more enjoyable sessions that I ever attended. Thanks to Seamus Collins session host and to the Anchor for such an appropriate venue. Alan Lander’s photography displayed on the Anchor walls has “immortalized” the session.

Ger Wolfe strolled into our session and we were delighted to have him take part and enjoy it with us all. Afterwards, instruments in hand, we walked together up to the community centre, for his Songwriting workshop. Assisted by Catherine Cournane and Brendan O Sullivan, we had access to a room in the old Carnegie Building.  Sitting around and chatting about songwriting with Ger was both enjoyable and informative. It certainly got me thinking “ Outside the Box”!

Other Musicians, having winded their way on the Ring of Kerry, trickled into town. Gathering at Camos and thanks to the generosity of Rory, we all enjoyed his food and hospitality. Good food and conversation always augurs well for a good start to an evening they say and we proved it!

Ger Wolfe performed solo afterwards in Camos. As usual, his performance was spellbindingly (if that is a word) brilliant Thanks to Ger for coming down and adding to our weekend and we hope you will return to the “ Roots” again.

Support on the night was Kieran Sugrue. Thanks for contributing to a wonderful concert.

Saturday night culminated with live music with The Dizzy Blues Band at The Anchor. By all accounts Pat Horgan- Vox, Guitars. John McAleer- Bass, Dan Fitzgerald- Drums. Certainly put the Anchor into a spin, because gig goers and Anchor staff were still buzzing when I met them the following day. But then again, that is no surprise as they are a mighty group and we were delighted to have them down. Noel Shine and Mary Greene were said to be as usual a welcome addition to our weekend. Performing at the Bonnán Buí, I met and spoke with people who had enjoyed the gig and who had been delighted to listen to the music of Noel and Mary. We look forward to having them back in a concert setting on the next occasion, as their music is very special and inspiring.

We were pleased to be part of the “Storm of Strings” Gig at Cha Healy’s. Mick Power and John Nyhan, joined Ritchie, Paul and I for a very enjoyable gig. Thanks to Pádraig Garvey and staff and of course to a welcoming crowd for a great night


 Still breathing I went to mass on Sunday morning. Cormac Dineen organized music at the mass. Thank you so much as it was lovely start to Sunday. After Mass I enjoyed a coffee at Franks. Thanks To Mo O Connor and to Clare Horgan, a good crowd enjoyed a fantastic Jazz session. Clare and Mo are both excellent at what they do and we were delighted to have them perform at the weekend.

Nearby at the Anchor Adriano Da Silva lent a Latin feel to our weekend. It might have been cloudy outside but not within the Anchor..  A Great addition, which was appreciated by us all at the “Roots” He was followed by Paul Evans and Joe Lidstone for what, was to listeners and me a special performance. I was only sorry it had to finish, as I would have stayed there for hours enjoying their music and songs.

Musicians and music lovers, parents and friends of same trickled back to our music workshop at The Old Oratory. Many thanks to Darragh O Driscoll, who though he was at an occasion during the weekend came and opened the venue for us on the day. We are grateful to him for the venue and his assistance. Special mention of thanks to Cathal Cusack for his participation at the sessions, his contribution to the workshop and to him and his family for attending the events over the weekend.  His gift of music is a special one and it is great to have him on our side. Thanks To Paul Evans who had his hand crafted mandolins on display. It was lovely to see musicians younger and older having access to these special instruments. Adriano Da Silva and his family came and his contribution with his special style was great to enjoy. John Nyhan and Mick power not only were there to help with sharing their instruments and love of music with us all but we found ourselves enjoying a magic session that wafted beautifully around the Old oratory.  A special thanks to a local young talent Aisling Wharton who joined in on her violin.

After Tea at The Bonnán Buí, we steadied ourselves for the Youth concert and the final night of the weekend.

Another highlight of the weekend was the youth concert. With the help of Linda O Mahony, Alan Landers, Ann Landers, Mick Power and our M.C. Paul Clifford, Ritchie and I enjoyed a magical evening of young talent. Performers included: A Talented music group form Foilmore who were; Caelan McCarthy, Cáití O Sullivan, Mikie Kavanagh and Áine O Connor along with Shannon O Donnell, who also performed solo on the night. They were followed on by Dylan Murphy, Tadhg Dennehy, Rachel O Leary, Jordan Kelly, Kelsie Mc Carthy, Emma Sheehan, Shauna O Grady, Aisling Wharton, Rachel O Grady, Ellen O Sullivan, Sophie Daly Wilson, Sara Landers, Stephen Fogarty, Gearóid O Riordan, Kevin O Sullivan, and a duo Rachel O Connor and Robyn Dowling. Thanks to John Nyhan for coming along to support our young local talents, to all the families and friends of same. We aptly finished the performance with a rendition of the Boys of Barr Na Scráide, which again wafted around the lovely venue that is the Old Oratory

Pat Waters and Wally Desmond were wholly enjoyed at Cha Healy’s on the night.

At The Fertha Richard Paddy and Jan, A Jazz Duo preceded The Dizzy Blues Band. They were joined by a newly form group of singers from Foilmore. Yet again the Dizzy Blues band took their venue by storm and we were glad to enjoy a session afterwards with the lads to put the finishing touch on the weekend.

 CrossRiver at Alley Party was another magically enjoyable gig for us. Ritchie MacCarthy, Paul Evans and I enjoyed performing with John Nyhan and Mick Power at The Anchor. Sometimes I wondered how we could ever end such a successful weekend, but the “after-gig” session solved the mystery!

 Thanks to all the venues that got on board this weekend. Without venues supporting live music, live music performance events would be impossible. Thanks to all our musicians, those who traveled and to our local reliable talents. Thanks especially to those who showed up and participated at the open sessions. Thanks to our organizing group: Ritchie MacCarthy, Alan Landers, Paul Evans, Seamus Collins and Linda O Mahony of which I was delighted to be a part of. Thanks to other contributors, especially Tiernan at CaféSiveen, O Connor Printing and the Cahersiveen Credit Union who were more than helpful towards our weekend. Ideas for the next May Roots weekend are already gathering steam along with ideas for the interim season of Teacht Thar Saile Folk club. Talent at the youth concert has inspired the “ Young musicians Café Sessions” idea, which already has a lot of interest and these will kick off shortly.


Lastly and significantly, the feedback has been so positively enthusiastic and wonderful that we are all set to plan for May Bank holiday 2015, confident that the seed sown by Mountain Roots Music 2014 will grow into a major and un-missable weekend on future May Bank Holidays here in Cahersiveen.

Slán Go Fóill,

 Céline Kavanagh Teacht Thar Sáile Pro.

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