When I was growing up one of my all time favourite films was ‘Into The West’. I wanted a horse like Tír Na nÓg and thought that Tayto was the coolest nickname I had ever heard (bare in mind I was very young).
With that in mind you can imagine my excitement at being asked to take part in the Into The West initiative that I told you all about yesterday. This weeks theme is All Things Irish and I have been struggling to come up with a topic to write about. So I thought to myself what do I really love.
Like a bolt of lightening it came to me……music! We Irish love a good sing song after a mighty session and no weekend is complete without a trad session, fiddles, tin whistles and sure throw in an auld bodhrán while your at it.
Ireland has produced some phenomenal musicians over the years in all genres. Many have become world famous and few have ever forgotten their Irish roots. Here are just a few of my favourite home grown talents.
The Frames were founded in 1990 by Glen Hansard. The foursome are based in Dublin they have released six albums. A documentary, In The Deep Shade, to celebrate their 20th Anniversary Tour has been released this year. One of my favourite of their songs is Falling Slowly which was released in 2006.
Where would we be without Th Dubliners? One of Ireland’s best folk bands was founded in 1962 by the fantastic Ronnie Drew. They are responsible for more than one generation of Irish people appreciating their heritage through music. The Dubliners had an amazing 50 year career. I’d like to see any of the X-factor type bands make it to that milestone. There are far too many songs to pick an all out favourite but I don’t thing any self respecting Irish person would be able to resist singing along to Dirty Old Town.
Rory Gallagher was a blues-rock musician, born in Donegal but raised in Cork. He formed a band in the 60s called Taste but was most famous during his solo career in the 70s and 80s. He was a talented guitarist and was known for his energetic performances and dedication to his music. A Million Miles Away is one of my favourites and really shows off his talent in the great guitar solos.
The Cranberries were formed in Limerick in 1989 and were widely associated with the alternative rock scene of the early 90s. The bands sound was also influenced by indie pop, post-punk, Irish folk and pop rock to produce a sound unique to the time. To my delight the band got back together after a six year hiatus in 2010. Linger, for me, is an iconic Cranberries song and immediately transports me back to my childhood.
These are just a few of my favourite Irish bands and songs but there is loads of Irish talent out there, especially local bands. Check out local gigs, you never know who might become a famous Irish band one day.