Irish Music Radio this Weekend

This just in from Kevin Donleavy:

Pull up your easy chair this Saturday, and have a listen to Irish trad music on-line.  The date is June 1,  and the programme runs from 10 am till 12 noon in the eastern US,  which means 3 to 5 pm in Ireland. Kevin Donleavy is the usual host,  and the show is called ATLANTIC WEEKLY PART TWO.
Here are the easy listening steps.  On your computer, go to Next, select Listen Live on the right side bar.  Then, choose between Ogg and MP3.
Here are some highlights from the music to be broadcast. Mary McNamara will play Co. Clare tunes on her concertina. You can hear songs and two uilleann pipers from the Belfast band Réalta.  Kerry’s own Mary Courtney will sing some ballads, and you can hear Liam Weldon singing that powerful song,  “Where Is Our James Connolly.”  Harper Sue Richards will perform, and you can hear Paudie O’Connor on accordion play polkas and reels with John O’Brien on uilleann pipes.  Dublin singer Pat Broaders will  do a fine version of the US trad song called  “Storms Are on the Ocean.”  That’s just the beginning ….
Hope you can tune in. You will also hear the latest news from the only Irish archaeological dig in the state of Virginia,  and there’s more information about it at  And the latest news from such groups as BRIMS (the Blue Ridge Irish Music School), and the Washington branch of Comhaltas Ceoltoiri Eireann.  

Irish Music Radio with Mick O’Grady

Charlottesville’s Kevin Donleavy has an Irish music program on air tomorrow.  I hope you’ll tune in via internet!  He explains how, below.  I always enjoy hearing Mick O’Grady play at the Cobblestone pub, and he’ll be featured in the program.

Photo of Stefan Paz Berrios and Mick O'Grady, downloaded from Danny Diamond's Flicker page.

Photo of Stefan Paz Berrios and Mick O’Grady, downloaded from Danny Diamond’s Flickr site.

Hi, music heads and tune-fanciers,

The next radio program of Irish trad music presented by Kevin Donleavy can be heard on-line as usual this Saturday, May 18, from 10 am till 12 noon. (Irish listeners should tune in from 3 to 5 pm that day.) The program is called ATLANTIC WEEKLY PART TWO,  and here are the easy listening steps :
To listen on your internet radio, select WTJU in Virginia, USA, or pick up the  “Tune In Radio”  app for your iPhone or other mobile device and easily dial up the station.
On your computer,  go to Next, select Listen Live on the right side bar. Then, choose between Ogg and MP3.
This week’s musical material includes singers Andy Irvine, Paddy Reilly, Tim Browne, Muireann Nic Amhlaoibh (Maryann McCauley), and Christy Moore. There will  be tunes from banjo expert Kieran Hanrahan and fine box-player Danny O’Mahony. The fiddlers this week are Mick O’Grady and Washington/Baltimore’s own Jesse Smith. And if you like the sounds of uilleann pipes and fiddle, you’ll enjoy tunes from Mick O’Brien and Caoimhin O Raghallaigh. 
There will also be some chat about such Irish organizations as Comhaltas, Clann Mhor, and BRIMS (the Blue Ridge Irish Music School). 
Hope that you can have a listen on Saturday ….

The Cobblestone Recordings on Air April 6

Kevin Donleavy’s emails are so charming and informative that I just can’t resist posting them in their original form.  Here, he discusses some history of traditional Irish music and his plans to play Tom Mulligan’s Cobblestone recordings on his upcoming radio show.  Anyone can tune in on April 6 by using the Internet (see below).

Hiya again, Shannon,

Whoa, thanks for sending along the Cobblestone recording.  I’m just in the door tonight, and will have a chance to play it tomorrow.  I recognize some of the musicianers’ names, but others are known only to their local fellow-players, I betcha.
The entire growth of Irish trad music the past 4 decades is pretty astonishing, as you might already know.
Local and private music teachers in loads of communities took a big cue from Comhaltas Ceoltoiri Eireann, the country-wide music and dance organization which was founded about 50 years ago. Comhaltas lined up the best of fiddlers, uilleann pipers, concertina, and flute players (and loads more besides) to expand the circle of their students.  The overall result is that there are probably 100,000 people in Ireland who play trad music — just my guess, but it probably is close to real. It is the “in” thing for lots of kids — especially if either another family member or a peer plays an instrument.  And they all learn by ear, an astonishing thing. A coupla years ago somebody estimated that a new trad CD is issued somewhere in Ireland or the States every 3 days.  Much more successful growth of Irish folk music than the folk movement in the US.
Enough.  Beddyby time.
Thanks again,  
Here are Kevin’s instructions for tuning in:
Shannon, hiya —

Hope this e-mail addy is good for ya.
I listened to the Cobblestone CD today, and heard some great stuff.  More uilleann pipers than I would have imagined would be included — a good sign. Have already chosen 4 cuts for the April 6 (Saturday) radio show on-line, so can you let Tom know the date, please ? Also that the show is  called ATLANTIC WEEKLY PART TWO,  and is found at,  and that it will be broadcast in Ireland from 3 to 5 pm that day. He and some of the musicianers might wanna have a listen. Since the program is archived for 2 weeks afterward,  they can also listen in later at the Vault spot at the website.
Mike Heivly rang today,  and I’ll go share muffins and coffee with him tomorrow morning.  He wants to yammer about setting up his photo-art display at the big Comhaltas convention in D.C. in early April.
All for the now,

History of the Horseshoe (and Mike Heivly’s Upcoming Art Show)

News from Charlottesville’s Kevin Donleavy:


I forgot to mention to you that the Horseshoe is quite famous as a venue for trad musicianers over the past 5 or 6 decades.  Lynch can tell you all about why.  It hinges on magnificent fiddler-and-concertina-player John Kelly who ran the shop for aeons.  He’s gone, RIP,  but his fiddling sons James (lives in Florida now) and John (still lives in Ireland)  carry on that family musical tradition. Ah, John Kelly the elder — he attracted the likes of Seamus Ennis and John Egan and loads and tons of musicianers to that wee shop.  Why don’t ya ask Lynch about the pub at the corner where John and others held forth of an evening ? or the pub called the Meeting Place (also fairly nearby).
Oh, I also nearly disremembered the following — that Mike Heivly has sent some of his work to the Embassy of Ireland, and will probably have a one-man show sometime in the next few months.  Stay tuned!
Incidentally, Mike’s show will be at the Irish Embassy.  Kevin explained:
The Embassy is in DC, on prestigious Mass Ave (ie, Massachusetts Avenue).  A small edifice, but it’s (I’m guessing) early 19th c., sorta French looking with Baroque elements. Neat building.

News from Kevin Donleavy

C-Ville Weekly published a fascinating article about the Blue Ridge Tunnel project.  Also, please don’t forget Kevin Donleavy’s radio show this Saturday:

A chairde and pals,

Time for another program of Irish traditional music on-line.  The date is this Saturday, Dec. 29, and the show is ATLANTIC WEEKLY PART TWO.  It will air, as usual, from 10 am till 12 noon in the States, and 3 to 5 pm in Ireland.
What can you expect to hear on this show? Great instrumental music from Andrew MacNamara and The Lahawns will open the show. Other groups you will hear are Skylark, Flashpoint, the Chieftains, and Flash Company. Singers include Brian Moore, Terry O’Neill, Grainne Holland, and Ron Kavana. There will be “Spancill Hill” especially for the memory of Robbie McMahon of Co. Clare, and “The Mad Goat” (Poc ar Buile) for Paidi O’ Se of Kerry. And a lot more….
Here are the easy steps for listening on-line :
On your computer, go to  Next, select Listen Live on the right side bar.  Then, choose between Ogg and MP3.
I hope you will have a wee listen this Saturday, and also the following Saturday (Jan. 5) when I’ll bring you another ATLANTIC WEEKLY program at the same time.  What more could you ask to begin a new year ?


Irish Lore on the Blue Ridge

Mike Heivly's studio in Charlottesville, Virginia, filled with the essence of Ireland.

Mike Heivly, Kevin Donleavy, and Dave Chance at Mike’s art studio in Charlottesville, Virginia — filled with the essence of Ireland.

The fragile gift bag I toted from Ireland sheltered two vinyl records by Jerry Crilly’s old band, Rakish Paddy.  Jerry sent one home as a gift for me and the other for his friend Kevin Donleavy, who we managed to locate in mid-November.

This vinyl record is a collector’s item, Kevin tells me.  He played the CD version on his radio show a few weeks back.

Incidentally, he has a new show airing this Saturday, December 29 on the UVA radio station.  Click here for directions on how to listen online.

The vinyl records were both a heartfelt gift from Jerry and a plausible excuse for me to find Kevin — who, I’d informed Jerry, Dave and I would be driving right past on our holiday trek across Virginia.

We met Kevin at his colleague’s studio in Charlottesville.  Mike Heivly has filled the studio, located in a church’s unused classroom, with fascinating poems and images of Ireland.

Mike is as enamored with Irish lore as the rest of us, as you can see by the images of his work.

It turns out, Kevin has enlisted Mike to help with documenting the railway in Charlottesville that was built in the 1850s by about 2,100 Irish and 90 slaves.  A full account is posted by The Blue Ridge Railway Project (at, which explains “Clann Mhór – which in Gaelic means the Great Family – wishes to honor the history of these forgotten railroad workers.”

Mike also has beautiful images of Newgrange and the famine village near Dingle town.

Although Dave and I were instrumental in re-connecting Jerry and Kevin, it turns out that Kevin himself is a master at connecting people. Particularly around subjects of Ireland.  Here’s an email I received from Kevin after our visit:

Hiya, Shannon agus Dave,

That was a pleasant enough event at Mike’s studio Saturday.  You two seemed to enjoy it, too.  Pretty neat projects that Mike gets into.
Thanks for bringing the 33 lp of the Rakes.  Very kind of you to drag it across the western ocean. Lovely songs on it, just as I had dimly recalled.
Am including some info about Iroid sculptor Mark Connelley. Hope his work interests yiz and catches your eyes. Strange, isn’t it, that everybody who goes to Ireland gets caught up in aspects of its culture ? Mirabile dictu, and that ! (Did you know I taught h.s. Latin for years ?)
All the best, Kevin

Dear Kevin,

I am happy to have made a connection with you.  While I hope that a variety of people like my work, I particularly want to make an impression on folks of Irish influence. Much of my work is inspired by the many ancient treasures found in that part of the world. There are some who feel the same connection that I do to this culture, and it is always comforting to hear from them.
The best way to learn about my work is through my website: I have images up of most of my work with stories of how each piece was influenced. You can also follow my business page on Facebook (click the ‘F’ below.) I post images there of installations like the one in Charlottesville. I also post discussions and images of other artwork.
I look forward to browsing your links and learning more about your group. I am a big fan too of traditional music. Our local radio station, WNCW, has a show on Saturdays named ‘Celtic Winds.’ They do a fair job, but it consists of too many reels for my wife’s taste. I disagree, but that is the joy of music.
Thanks again for contacting me. I look forward to meeting you in person sometime too.
All the best,



Sculpture & Landscape Art | 828.384.8318 |


On Nov 7, 2012, at 8:22 PM, KEVIN DONLEAVY wrote:
Hi, Mark,

Was driving in the Emmet Street neighborhood here in Charlottesville the other day and saw your sculpture of  The Storyteller. Very nice work, and in an a propos siting, too, since the street is named after heroic Robert Emmet’s nephew:  John Patten Emmet was chosen by Thomas Jefferson to be on the initial faculty of the new U. Va. in the 1820s. 
Several of us will help spread the word about your sculpture within the Irish mini-community here. There is BRIMS, the Blue Ridge Irish Music School;  you can google them.  I myself do a regular program of Irish trad music on-line and FM on  here  (next show is Sat., Dec.1, from 10 am till 12 noon).  Have a gander at our website,, where our collective is documenting the 2,100 or so Irish and the 90 slaves who built the railway here in the 1850s.  
Why don’t you e-mail and tell me more about your ogham-sculpture and other efforts, which will give us some background to this work of yours.  If you are ever in Cville, especially on a first Sat any month, I can have you chat on the radio program.  How’s that ?
Hope to hear from you,

Kevin and Jerry — On Air

Remember when I helped Jerry Crilly (my pal from the Cobblestone pub) find his ole pal Kevin Donleavy?  Kevin lives in Virginia, which is why Jerry (a Dublin resident) requested my help.  Well, Kevin has written to me several times since.  He’s going to be featuring some of the music Jerry sent him on his WTJU radio show tomorrow!  I hope you’ll tune in to learn something about traditional Irish music!  See how, below:
A chairde and pals,

Kevin Donleavy. (Photo by Josh Meltzer, The Roanoke Times)

Kevin Donleavy. (Photo by Josh Meltzer, The Roanoke Times)

Just a reminder to switch on your radio this Saturday for another on-line program of Irish trad music. It’s the ATLANTIC WEEKLY PART TWO show, and the date is Dec. 1.  As always, the broadcast time is 10 am till 12 noon, eastern US time (or 3 to 5 pm in Ireland).  If you live near the Charlottesville, Virginia area,  you can listen on WTJU, at 91.1 on the FM dial.
This week there will be whistle playing from both Enda Seery and Kathleen Conneely off their newish CDs.  Among the younger  groups you can hear are Realta from Belfast,  Ioscaid from all over the Wee Six counties, and Flashback from Texas.  Among the individual singers this week are Tadgh Maher and Jerry Reilly,  Mairead Ni Mhaonaigh and Mairin Fahy,  Jerry Crilly and Lenny Duff.  There’s plenty to entertain even the most sophisticated and jaded ears !  Reels agus jigs galore !
Here are the easy steps to listen in on your computer. First, visit  Next, select Listen Live on the right side bar. Then,  choose between Ogg and MP3.
Hope that you can tune in this Saturday, wet the tea, and roll back the carpet.