Wednesday 21 January 2015

Ewan MacColl and the Clare Connection

Next Sunday, ‘Burns Night’, marks the anniversary of the birth of English/Scot’s folksinger Ewan MacColl and numerous events are taking place in Britain and Ireland celebrate the occasion. This includes two hour-long radio programmes on MacColl’s life and work produced by Clare FM’s Paula Carroll, the first of which is scheduled to be broadcast on Friday, 23rd January at 7.00pm.

Paula has based her programmes on Ewan’s and Peggy Seeger’s long-term working association with two County Clare residents, Pat Mackenzie and Jim Carroll, now living in Miltown Malbay. Both were members of MacColl’s workshop, The Critics Group, and helped to run and to perform at The Singers Club in London; regular guests at the club were Clare piper Tom McCarthy from Sheyan, Kilmihil, and fiddler Bobby Casey of Mullagh.

Pat and Jim have been recording singers in Clare since the early 1970s and have been permanent residents here since 1998; their collection of the older generation of singers is about to go live shortly on Clare County Library’s website for public access.

The first programme deals with MacColl’s early life in Salford, and his move from agit-prop theatre into folk song; it includes part of a long interview they did with Sea Nós singer, Joe Heaney, from Connemara. Programme two will be broadcast at 7pm on Friday 30th January 2015. The photo above was taken of Ewan MacColl by Michael Tigar in 1962.

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