Irish traditional singer Sean Keane to perform in Floyd on Sunday, Sept. 23
Sean Keane, one of Ireland’s most distinctive traditional singers, will perform Sunday, Sept. 23 at The Pine Tavern Pavilion in Floyd as part of his “From Ireland to Appalachia” tour.
Keane, who hails from Caherlistrane, Co Galway, was described as the “greatest musical find of the 90s” by The London Independent. Traditional Irish, folk and even country and blues songs all lend themselves to his unique style and unforgettable voice.
The touring band includes Keane on vocals, flute, whistles, uillean pipes; Pat Coyne on guitars and backing vocals; and Fergus Feely on mandocello and vocals. The concert will begin at the Pine Tavern Pavilion at 7 p.m. Sunday with Mike Mitchell, Joe Prichard, and Shannon Jones of The Recipe opening.
Keane, who was born into the famous musical Keane family of Caherlistrane, in the north of County Galway, began his apprenticeship as a singer when he was a toddler. He grew up learning traditional songs from his mother, grandmother and Aunts Rita and Sarah, while soaking up new tunes and songs from the many musicians who visited the household over the years, and gaining valuable experience by watching and listening to the Keane Family Ceilidh Band. Keane spent his youth perfecting his style by gathering a staggering 13 All-Ireland medals for singing and whistle playing and thus moved seamlessly from apprentice to master of his craft.
Before choosing a solo career in the late ’90s, Keane was a founding member of Shegui, an award-winning traditional band touring mainly in the United Kingdom and continental Europe. He then joined his sister Dolores, Mairtin O’Connor and John Faulkner in Reel Union and toured Ireland, Europe and the U.S. before the group went their separate ways. After a spell with Arcady, a star-studded traditional group that included Johnny “Ringo” McDonogh and Sharon Shannon, and a short interval in theatre (Merriman’s “Midnight Court” and a spell with the Abbey Theatre), Keane decided to pursue a solo career.
His first solo album, “All Heart, No Roses” enjoyed widespread critical acclaim and placed him at the top of the list of great Irish folk singers. “Turn A Phrase,” his second album, cemented his reputation and saw his popularity soar in Ireland. “No Stranger” and “The Man That I Am” followed in to the new millennium, both platinum albums.
In 2008, Keane began a musical project in DVD and CD format, called “The Irish Scattering.” Through music, song, dance and readings, the live recording tracks the movements of the Irish people over the centuries, starting with the journeys of Irish monks in the sixth century, then moving to forced transportations to Barbados and Australia, the Great Famine exodus to the U.S. and Canada, voluntary emigration to countries worldwide and ending with modern global commuting. The show is up-beat and optimistic for the most part and features unforgettable songs from the traditional pool, as well as newly penned traditional-style compositions and classics such as “Shenandoah.” The show has already played to capacity audiences all over Ireland and has been very warmly received, with standing ovations at every performance. It was featured in the National Concert Hall and has been taken up by Irish national TV.
– Submitted by Jennifer Brooke
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