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Dennis Cahill Interview


Sharing interviews recorded at the All Ireland Fleadh 2017 in Ennis Co Clare with Dennis Cahill, Oisín Mac Diarmada, Noel Hill, Kevin Crawford, Dylan Foley, Patrick Doocey, Joanie Madden, Don Stiffe, John Carty and Kieran Hanrahan.

Dennis Cahill was born June 16 (Bloomsday – the day made famous by James Joyce's “Ulysses”) in 1954 in Chicago, Illinois to immigrant parents from County Kerry, Ireland. Displaying a keen interest in music from childhood, he started studying guitar at nine years of age. He subsequently studied the instrument at the highly regarded Chicago Music College, training under Howard Levy, Manuel Lopez Ramos, Steve Klein and Robert Becker. Throughout the 1980s and '90s, Cahill developed into one of the most respected and innovative guitar players in the world of traditional Irish music. Not just content with accompanying tunes, he has developed a unique approach to playing traditional and neo-traditional Irish music, incorporating the ornaments and subtleties used by the various instruments utilized within the Irish music genre. He has performed and recorded with many acclaimed Irish traditional music practitioners (including Kevin Burke, Liz Carroll, Seamus Egan, P.J. Hayes, Eileen Ivers, Arty McGlynn, Iarla Ó Lionáird, Liam O’Flynn, and Jimmy Keane), and has appeared in concert halls and festivals throughout the USA, Europe, China, and Australia.

Dennis met traditional fiddle player Martin Hayes in Chicago in the 1980s. Hayes, although not yet the superstar of Irish music he is today, was a prodigy from County Clare who grew up learning from his famous fiddler father, and had won six All-Ireland championships by the time he was 19.  He landed in Chicago where he met up with Dennis, by then a respected member of the local music scene. The two formed the jazz/rock/fusion band Midnight Court which allowed them to experiment with a variety of new music styles. In the early '90s Dennis and Martin again teamed up, this time forming one of Irish music's most acclaimed duos of all time. Their concerts have become legendary. Beginning with the lyrical music of East Clare, they play long, sometimes thirty-minute multi-tune sets, starting from the simplest of melodies, building in intensity, but never abandoning musicality and ideas. Their touring schedule has taken them to Australia, Japan, Europe, the U.K., Ireland, the US, Canada, Hong Kong, Beijing, Shanghai, Poland, India, and Mexico City.

They have three recordings together. In 1997 they released their first duo album, “The Lonesome Touch”, followed by “Live in Seattle” in 1999, a concert recording hailed for it's vitality and innovation, and the telepathic chemistry between the two musicians. After a ten-year hiatus they released the studio album “Welcome Here Again.” All are available on the Green Linnet label through Compass Records.



Filetype: MP3 - Size: 0.94MB - Duration: 4:07 m (32 kbps 22050 Hz)

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