The Festival Folk Week at the National Stadium, Dublin in Late August 1982 will always rank as one of the most exhausting nerve-stretching and at the same time exhilarating experiences in my television productions to date. The idea of capturing on television the essence of the best of Ireland's Folk artistes which is the live indoor performance before an appreciative audience was first mooted many months before hand. The complexities of organising such an event can well be imagined but with the co-operation of all those people involved, particularly Brian Molloy the whole thing came together and was a resounding success. My thanks must go to all of those who helped throughout the week. However most important of all I must thank the artistes involved and congratulate each and every one of them — The Bards. Mary Black. The Furey Brothers & Davey Arthur, Foster & Allen, Na Casaidigh, Jim McCann, Johnny McEvoy, Planxty, Ryans Fancy, Stocktons Wing and Freddie White. They were completely co-operative right through the week and their performances were all that I could have hoped. This album captures some of the atmosphere and flavour of a memorable week.
Jim McCann is now established as one of Irelands foremost solo artistes. He has a powerful presence and an engaging wit. His earlier successes with the Ludlows and later his four year stint with the legendary Dubliners have helped him build a reputa tion both here in Ireland and throughout Europe and USA as a performer of the highest calibre.
Freddie White is one of the countrys prime solo acts and a truly enigmatic and soulful performer. He has toured extensively and has a considerable reputation both here and in Europe. His style is highly individual and he fits somewhat surprisingly into the folk idiom. His album sales and concert successes have established him as a firm favourite.
Mary Black has one of the sweetest voices imaginable. She has sprung to prominence in comparatively recent times and has made quite an impact with the track "Anachie Gordon" on the gold album "Christy Moore & Friends" (RTE59). A young Dublin housewife and mother she makes only limited concert appearances at present but with her growing reputation a glittering career is hers for the taking.
Formed in 1971, Ryans Fancy have had numerous T.V. Shows throughout Canada, North America and on RTE. Their working schedule is spent touring these countries and each August they return to Ireland for a "working holiday". Their line-up is Denis Ryan & Denis Carey from Newport, Co. Tipperary and Dermot O'Reilly & Fergus O'Byrne from Dublin.
One of the finest contemporary bands in Ireland. Stocktons Wing herald a new dawning in their development with a striking originality in their material and stage presentation. Stocktons Wing are Mike Hanrahan — Guitar & Vocals, Tommy Hayes — Bodhran, Bones & Assorted percussion, Maurice Lennon — Fiddle, Vocals, Kieran Hanrahan — Banjo, Mandolin, Guitar & Vocals, Paul Roche — Flute, Whistles, Vocals.
THE FUREYS & DAVEY ARTHUR
The Furey Brothers & Davey Arthur have become probably the biggest attraction on the Irish Folk Scene. Their UK chart success "Sweet Sixteen" has brought them to a wider UK audience but they have long ago built a reputation in Europe, especially in West Germany and Holland as a folk group which has a particularly wide appeal. The group is made up of the brothers, Paul, George. Finbar & Eddie Furey and as well as Davey Arthur.
Johnny McEvoy is without doubt one of the most successful recording stars in the history of the Irish music business. He can claim a string of No. 1 hit singles and a dozen top selling albums, and his concert performances are consistent sell outs. The recording of his Festival Folk concert was one of the highlights of the TV series and provides ample evidence of the charisma and sheer artistry of a talent that has enthralled audiences for well over a decade.
FOSTER & ALLEN
Mick Foster and Tony Allen who hail from Irelands Midlands have made a meteoric rise to fame with two hit singles to their credit and several successful UK tours. They have already received a number of awards most notably a platinum disc for "Bunch of Thyme".
Na Casaidigh are a family group who spent much of their youth in Gaoth Dobhair. Co. Donegal, and now live in Dublin. They are part of a musical tradition which combines both folk and classical influences. Their repertoire includes Irish songs, dance tunes and the music of the Irish harpers, arranged by the group in a distinctive style. The line-up of Na Casaidigh includes Caitriona (harp). Aongus (fiddle), Odhran (piob uileann. viola), Feargus (guitar), Fionntan (fiddle). Seathrun (harpsichord, bouzouki) and Barra O Tuama (flute).
The Bards have emerged in recent times as one of the most popular ballad groups on the Irish circuit. Their single "Lanigans Ball", one of the biggest selling singles of all time in Ireland shot them into the limelight. The Bards are Anne Keavney, Fran Curry, Christy Sheridan and Dermot O'Leary.