TOMMY PEOPLES (born 1948) is an Irish fiddler who plays in the Donegal fiddle tradition. He was born near St. Johnston, County Donegal, in Ireland. He has been a member of well-known traditional Irish music groups, including 1691 and The Bothy Band as well as performing solo since the late 1960s. He plays in the unique fiddle style of East Donegal.

After moving to Dublin in the 1960s, where he was employed as a Garda (member of the Irish police force), he subsequently moved to County Clare and married Mary Linnane, daughter of Kitty Linnane, long-time leader of the Kilfenora Céilí Band. He now resides in his home village of St Johnston. His daughter Siobhán Peoples is a noted fiddler in her own right.

Tommy Peoples is currently the Traditional Musician In Residence at The Balor Arts Centre, Ballybofey, County Donegal.[citation needed]

In July 2015 he launched his self-published book "Ó Am go hAm - From Time to Time". The book combines a fiddle tutor by Tommy, along with illustrations by himself and a complete notation of 130 original tunes by Tommy, again notated by himself. The book also includes many stories and incidents from his life, and musical career. The book is currently available direct from Tommy from his own website



THE CHIEFTAINS are a traditional Irish band formed in Dublin in November 1962, by Paddy Moloney, Sean Potts and Michael Tubridy. The band had their first rehearsals at Moloney's house, with Tubridy, Martin Fay and David Fallon. Their sound, which is almost entirely instrumental and largely built around uilleann pipes, has become synonymous with traditional Irish music and they are regarded as having helped popularise Irish music across the world.

Paddy Moloney came out of Ceoltóirí Chualann, a group of musicians who specialised in instrumentals, and sought to form a new band. The group remained only semi-professional up until the 1970s and by then had achieved great success in Ireland and the United Kingdom. In 1973, their popularity began to spread to the United States when their previous albums were released there by Island Records. They received further acclaim when they worked on the Academy Award-winning soundtrack to Stanley Kubrick's 1975 film Barry Lyndon, which triggered their transition to the mainstream in the US.

The group continued to release successful records throughout the 1970s and 1980s, and their work with Van Morrison in 1988 resulted in the critically acclaimed album Irish Heartbeat. They went on to collaborate with many other well-known musicians and singers; among them Luciano Pavarotti, the Rolling Stones, Madonna, Sinéad O'Connor and Roger Daltrey. The band have won six Grammys during their career and they were given a Lifetime Achievement Award at the prestigious BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards in 2002. Some music experts have credited The Chieftains with bringing traditional Irish music to a worldwide audience, so much so that the Irish government awarded them the honorary title of 'Ireland's Musical Ambassadors' in 1989. In 2012, they celebrated their 50th anniversary with the release of their most recent record Voice of Ages.



TÉADA, an Irish band, plays traditional music. Téada is Gaelic for "strings". The five members of the band are fiddle player Oisín Mac Diarmada, button accordion player Paul Finn, Damien Stenson performs on flutes and various whistles, Seán Mc Elwain switches between the bouzouki and guitar and bodhrán player Tristan Rosenstock.

In 2001, through an appearance on the Irish television series, Flosc, Téada first came to national attention. When their eponymous debut album Téada was released the The Irish Times lauded the band for "keeping the traditional flag flying at full mast," and Scotland's Edinburgh Evening News wrote, "If there is a better new band on the Emerald Isle, they must be very, very good."


(March 8, 1937 – April 30, 1966)

RICHARD FARIÑA (March 8, 1937 – April 30, 1966) was an American folksinger, song writer, poet and novelist. Born in Brooklyn, New York, of Cuban and Irish descent, he grew up in the Flatbush neighborhood of Brooklyn and attended Brooklyn Technical High School. He earned an academic scholarship to Cornell University, starting as an engineering major, but later switching to English. While at Cornell he published short stories for local literary magazines and for national periodicals, including Transatlantic Review and Mademoiselle. Fariña became good friends with Thomas Pynchon,David Shetzline, and Peter Yarrow while at Cornell. He was suspended for alleged participation in a student demonstration against campus regulations and although he later resumed his status as a student, he ultimately dropped out in 1959, just before graduation. Ascent on Greenwich Village folk scene.

Back in Manhattan, Fariña became a regular patron of the White Horse Tavern, the well-known Greenwich Village tavern frequented by poets, artists, and folksingers, where he befriended Tommy Makem. It was there that he met Carolyn Hester, a successful folk singer. They married eighteen days later. Fariña appointed himself Hester's agent; they toured worldwide while Fariña worked on his novel and Carolyn performed gigs. Fariña was present when Hester recorded her third album at Columbia studios during September 1961, where a then-little-known Bob Dylan played harmonica on several tracks. Fariña became a good friend of Dylan's; their friendship is a major topic of David Hajdu's book, Positively 4th Street: The Lives and Times of Joan Baez, Bob Dylan, Mimi Baez Fariña, and Richard Fariña.

Fariña then traveled to Europe, where he met Mimi Baez, the teenage sister of Joan Baez, in the spring of 1962. Hester divorced Fariña soon thereafter, and Fariña married 17-year-old Mimi in April 1963. Thomas Pynchon was the best man. They moved to a small cabin in Carmel, California, where they composed songs with a guitar and Appalachian dulcimer. They debuted their act as "Richard & Mimi Fariña" at the Big Sur Folk Festival in 1964 and signed a contract with Vanguard Records. They recorded their first album, Celebrations for a Grey Day, in 1965, with the help of Bruce Langhorne, who had previously played for Dylan. During the brief life of Richard Fariña, the couple released only one other album, Reflections in a Crystal Wind, also in 1965. A third album, Memories, was issued in 1968, after his death.

Fariña, like Dylan and others of this time, was considered a protest singer, and several of his songs are overtly political. Several critics have considered Fariña to be a major folk music talent of the 1960s. ("If Richard had survived that motorcycle accident, he would have easily given Dylan a run for his money." – Ed Ward).

His best-known songs are, "Pack Up Your Sorrows" and "Birmingham Sunday", the latter of which was recorded by Joan Baez and became better known after it became the theme song for Spike Lee's film, 4 Little Girls, a documentary about the 16th Street Baptist Church bombing in Birmingham, Alabama, in 1963. At the time of his death, Fariña also was producing an album for his sister-in-law, Joan Baez. She ultimately decided not to release the album, however, though two of the songs were included on Fariña's posthumous album, and another, a cover version of Fariña's "Pack Up Your Sorrows", co-written by Fariña with the third Baez sister, Pauline Marden, was released as a single in 1966; it has since been included in a number of Baez' compilation albums.

On April 27, 1968, Fairport Convention recorded a live version of "Reno Nevada" for French TV programme Bouton Rouge, featuring vocals by Judy Dyble and Iain Matthews. They then recorded the song for a BBC session later in the same year, this time with Dyble's replacement in the band Sandy Denny, subsequently included on the album Heyday. Denny also recorded "The Quiet Joys of Brotherhood" for her album Sandy. Matthews later recorded "Reno Nevada" and "Morgan the Pirate" for his album, "If You Saw Thro' My Eyes"; other Farina compositions appeared on subsequent solo albums and on recordings by Matthews' band, Plainsong. [Read more on Wikipedia]

Celebrating St. Paddy's Month...


(March 7, 1922 –November, 11 1998)

PADDY CLANCY (March 7, 1922 – November, 11 1998) was an Irish folk singer best known as a member of The Clancy Brothers and Tommy Makem. In addition to singing and storytelling, Clancy played the harmonica with the group, which is widely credited with popularizing Irish traditional music in the United States and revitalizing it in Ireland. He also started and ran the folk music label Tradition Records, which recorded many of the key figures of the American folk music revival. [Read more on Wikipedia]


(August 3, 1968 - March 2, 2016)


((March 4, 1932 –November 9, 2008 )

ZENZILE MIRIAM MAKEBA (March 4, 1932 –November 9, 2008), nicknamed Mama Africa, was a South African singer and civil rights activist.

In the 1960s, she was the first artist from Africa to popularize African music around the world. She is best known for the song "Pata Pata", first recorded in 1957 and released in the U.S. in 1967. She recorded and toured with many popular artists, such as Harry Belafonte, Paul Simon, and her former husbandHugh Masekela. Makeba campaigned against the South African system of apartheid. The South African government responded by revoking her passport in 1960 and her citizenship and right of return in 1963. As the apartheid system crumbled she returned home for the first time in 1990.

Makeba died of a heart attack on November 9, 2008 after performing in a concert in Italy organized to support writer Roberto Saviano in his stand against the Camorra, a mafia-like organization local to the region of Campania. [A lot more on Wikipedia and YouTube]


(February 29, 1956 )

MIKE COMPTON (born February 29, 1956 in Meridian, Mississippi) is an American bluegrass mandolin player and former protégé of the Father of Bluegrass, Bill Monroe. He is considered a modern master of bluegrass mandolin.

Compton learned music from an early age as his great-grandfather was an old-time fiddler. Initially, Compton began playing the trombone but switched to guitar instead and later to mandolin playing old-time music with his cousin. He became interested in bluegrass music and eventually learned to play like Bill Monroe. At the Bean Blossom Bluegrass Festival in 1975, he finally met Monroe. After Compton had finished his education at the Meridian Junior College he moved to Nashville and joined Hubert Davis and the Season Travelers in 1977. Four years later, in 1981, he left Davis' band. He spent the early 1980s working as a cook, a printer, and only occasionally as a musician. In the mid-1980s, he joined the Nashville Bluegrass Band but left the band in 1988 due to a road accident where bass player Mark Hembree was injured. Compton moved to the Catskill Mountains in 1991 working as a cottage caretaker. The next year, he returned to Nashville to record an album withDavid Grier. Because session work was scarce, Compton began teaching mandolin. In 1995, he recorded with Bill Monroe's Bluegrass Boys. Compton joined John Hartford in the mid 1990s recording several albums together with him. In 2000, Compton returned to the Nashville Bluegrass Band as a replacement for the mandolin player Roland White. [wikipedia]


(February 26, 1932 – September 12, 2003)

JOHNNY "J.R." CASH (February 26, 1932 – September 12, 2003) was an American singer-songwriter, guitarist, actor, and author, who was widely considered one of the most influential musicians of the 20th century and one of the best-selling music artists of all time, having sold more than 90 million records worldwide. Although primarily remembered as a country music icon, his genre-spanning songs and sound embraced rock and roll, rockabilly,blues, folk, and gospel. This crossover appeal won Cash the rare honor of multiple inductions in the Country Music, Rock and Roll and Gospel Music Halls of Fame.

Cash was known for his deep, calm bass-baritone voice, the distinctive sound of his Tennessee Three backing band, a rebelliousness coupled with an increasingly somber and humble demeanor, free prison concerts, and a trademark look, which earned him the nickname "The Man in Black". He traditionally began his concerts with the simple "Hello, I'm Johnny Cash,” followed by his signature "Folsom Prison Blues."

Much of Cash's music echoed themes of sorrow, moral tribulation and redemption, especially in the later stages of his career. His best-known songs included "I Walk the Line,” "Folsom Prison Blues,” "Ring of Fire,” "Get Rhythm" and "Man in Black". He also recorded humorous numbers like "One Piece at a Time" and "A Boy Named Sue"; a duet with his future wife, June Carter, called "Jackson" (followed by many further duets after their marriage); andrailroad songs including "Hey, Porter" and "Rock Island Line". During the last stage of his career, Cash covered songs by several late 20th century rock artists, most notably "Hurt" by Nine Inch Nails.


(February 23, 1955 – July 16, 2009)

Jerry Holland (February 23, 1955 – July 16, 2009) was a fiddler and tune composer who lived on Cape Breton Island in Nova Scotia, Canada.

He was born in Brockton, Massachusetts, United States to Canadian parents – his father was from New Brunswick and his mother was from Quebec. During his childhood, Holland was exposed to the music of the large Cape Breton expatriate community in Boston. He began to play the fiddle and step-dance at the age of five, and played at his first square dance at the age of six. He made his television debut in 1962 on the Canadian program Don Messer's Jubilee. By the time he was ten years old, he was playing regularly at dances in the Boston area. Holland's family made annual summer trips to Cape Breton, and he moved there permanently in 1975.

In his early 20s, Holland performed with the Cape Breton Symphony, a group of fiddlers that included Winston "Scotty" Fitzgerald, Angus Chisholm, Joe Cormier, Wilfred Gillis and John Donald Cameron. The group appeared regularly on CBC television on The John Allan Cameron Show and other programs. From playing with these much older and more experienced musicians, Holland gained an appreciation for the traditional style of Cape Breton fiddle music, as well as a repertoire of over a thousand fiddle tunes.

Holland released his first, self-titled album in 1976. It was his second album, Master Cape Breton Fiddler (1982, re-released on CD in 2001), that made his reputation as a ground-breaking musician.[citation needed] Accompanied by Dave MacIsaac on guitar and Hilda Chiasson on piano, Holland pioneered a new, more modern sound for Cape Breton music on this album, while still remaining firmly within the Cape Breton tradition. Master Cape Breton Fiddler was a major influence on younger Cape Breton fiddlers such as Howie MacDonald. Holland released thirteen albums and appeared as a guest musician on over 25 more. He published two collections of fiddle tunes: Jerry Holland's Collection of Fiddle Tunes and Jerry Holland's Second Collection of Fiddle Tunes, both edited by Paul Cranford. He was also noted as a composer of fiddle tunes, most famously "Brenda Stubbert's Reel" (named for his friend and fellow Cape Breton fiddler Brenda Stubbert) and "My Cape Breton Home".

Holland died on July 16, 2009 from cancer. [for more info and CDs, read Wikipedia]