Wednesday, March 2, 2016

A Reel Birthday: Altan and Drumnagarry/Pirrie Wirrie/Big John's"



A very happy birthday to Ms. Megan Kamerick, host of this show, on today. The random tune today is actually appropriate as it hearkens to her Irish heritage. Drumnagarry/Pirrie Wirrie/Big John's is a set of tunes performed by Altan, a band originally formed in County Donegal by vocalist and fiddler Mairéad Ní Mhaonaigh and her husband Frankie Kennedy in 1987 after the pair initially released a pair of albums as a duo. They named the band after a lake in County Donegal. County Donegal has a rich tradition of Irish music and styles, and Altan made this music available to the world and in the process became known worldwide with a popularity to match The Chieftains. Kennedy died of Ewings sarcoma in 1994, leaving Mairéad Ní Mhaonaigh to keep the band going. Altan has recorded and toured with fellow countrymen The Chieftains, and other musicians such as such as Enya, Dolly Parton, Bonnie Raitt and Alison Krauss. Drumnagarry/Pirrie Wirrie/Big John's can be found on their 1993 release Island Angel.