IrishCentral.com’s From The Hob: Marie Reilly live at NY University
By Paul Keating
Over the years I’ve attended countless functions at the Irish Consulate in New York, but never one as lively as the CD launch night for fiddler Marie Reilly from Longford.
The reception room was filled with musicians, friends and well-wishers for the popular member of the consulate staff, who happens to be a very good traditional fiddler as well. This is very much in evidence with the release of her first solo recording Anvil.
The album sheds light on the fiddling style of the Leitrim/Longford area of fiddle playing as revealed in manuscripts and music associated with Marie’s late father Michael Reilly, a blacksmith who also played the fiddle and taught Marie how to play and encouraged her music from an early age.
Recorded and produced by Gabe Donahue in his new Philadelphia Cove Island Studio, it is an example of a home-made recording now possible without trying to please more commercially minded companies.
This allows the artist to tailor their music to their personal choice and purpose, in this case to share some lovely undiscovered tunes and settings that were unique to the area where Reilly was reared.
As such and with diligent liner notes, we come to know more about the musician and their music and to put it in a wider context.
Research at the Irish Traditional Music Archive aided Reilly in producing this CD as well. This coming Friday, the last Blarney Star concert before the summer break will put the spotlight on Reilly and her violin as Donahue accompanies her as he did on the recording.
The mews house setting will be ideal to listen to Reilly tell us about the music and the chunes influenced her life, and also the opportunity to listen to her in a quiet setting.
It starts at 9 p.m. at Glucksman Ireland House in Manhattan at 1 Washington Mews, just half a block from the Washington Square on Fifth Avenue. Visit blarneystar.com for more details.