Festival Songs & Stories-John O'Brien, Jr.
\r\nBook softcover 373 pages large print\r\n
Festival Legends, Songs and Stories is an exploration into the lives of some of the most well-loved and renowned talents in the history of Irish music. \r\n\r\n
Perhaps you're a biography or music buff, or perhaps you just pride yourself in being Irish. Whatever the case, if you don't recognize the name Tommy Makem or Liam Clancy, you'd be doing yourself a favor to delve deeper. John has followed the trail of Irish music to its origins--from Fit-Ups who wandered the countryside, performing from town to town, to the artists who made it big with Gold Records and sold out dates at Carnegie Hall. In his twenty-three years as Assistant Director of Cleveland's Irish Cultural Festival, John has accomplished both the mundane and extraordinary. He has booked flights and hotels, pitched tents, set up stages and vendors' booths, printed tickets, coordinated websites and developed a nationally recognized Cultural Hall. It's hard work, but it all pays off in a magical three day event, at the heart of which is music. Pure and simple: music. \r\n\r\n
From legendary balladeers like Tommy Makem, Johnny McEvoy, Brendan Shine, Liam Clancy, and Danny Doyle, to groups like The Dublin City Ramblers, Cherish the Ladies and Barleycorn, John has gained unprecedented insight, not only into their music, but into the lives which shaped the music.\r\n\r\n
On January 30th, 2004, came the sad news: famed Irish tenor Derek McCormack had died. His passing sparked in John a desire to preserve the legacy of the festival legends, both as a gift to future generations, and as a way of honoring the profound impact their music had had on his own life. Histories left unrecorded, are histories lost, and when history is lost, so are the lessons held within it. Whether listening to Patriot Game or Four Green Fields one hears struggle amidst the poetry, the universal struggle for respect, freedom... survival. These are the struggles which bind and define us, and which are at the very core of Festival Legends, Songs and Stories. What makes this book even more extraordinary is that the stories are told--as is only fitting--by the legends themselves, whose indominable spirits and consequent glories can be seen to mirror trials and triumphs of the Irish as a people. From battling colonization, to the hardship of famine, to the sting of alienation in a new world, through it all, the Irish have persevered. This book is dedicated to Derek McCormack, and all the artists whose lives have reflected that struggle... and whose music has inspired by rising above it.