Larry Reynolds hailed from the townland of Shanboley, Ahascragh a small village just north of Ballinasloe in Co. Galway. He was the second youngest of 13 children and when Larry was just 10 years of age his eldest brother, Harry bought him his first fiddle, while his lessons with Mabel West were paid for by his sister Betty, both were to prove worthwhile investments.
Like so many more of his time, with his fiddle under his arm, he emigrated to Boston in 1953 where he settled and made his home. Over time he became a highly influential fiddle player, not only for his East Galway style of playing but also because of the contribution he made to Irish culture in Boston and all over North America.
Arriving in Boston in the latter years of the Dudley Street Dance Hall era this time provided him with his introduction to the Boston Irish music scene. In the years that followed his musical achievements were many, a founding member of the now renamed Reynolds-Hanafin-Cooley Boston Branch of Comhaltas Ceoltoirí Eireann in 1975, a member of the Tara Ceilí Band and The Connaught Ceilí Band, a recording artist featured on many well known albums, listed in the Top 100 Irish Americans, an Irish music broadcaster on a Boston radio station, he played to two Irish Presidents, Mary Robinson & Mary McAleese and also played for some of America’s political elite, Tip O’Neill & William Bulger. Then there was the seisiúns - Larry could be found every Monday night at the Green Briar, plying his craft as a musician and as a mentor to many other musicians.
In 1954 he married Phyllis and together they had seven children. Their home in Waltham operated an open door policy for many young Irish & American musicians and throughout his life he led the way for generations of traditional Irish Musicians. The work he did for so many young Irish emigrants is legendary and so many young people were directed to Larry as a man who would unselfishly give his time to help them get their “first start”.
A festival in honour of Larry to be held in his home town seemed a natural progression and 2018 will see the fifth festival being held as a commemoration and celebration of a true Irish man.
Filetype: MP3 - Size: 1.79MB - Duration: 7:37 m (32 kbps 44100 Hz)
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