More memories of Dermot Grogan

 

 

From John Casey,
—-

 

Subject: Fw: Dermot Grogan in the Irish Post

Fellas, I noted this online from the Irish Post which is on the
same website as the Irish Voice. I don't know how often the Irish
Post is published in England but it was carried in the latest
e-newsletter from Irishabroad which hosts both newspapers on the
website.

 

Death of a legend THE WORLD of traditional Irish music is mourning the death of Dermot Grogan from Kilkelly in Co. Mayo.

The outstanding accordion and flute-player was one of the most
highly-regarded traditional Irish musicians in the country. Although
only a young man Dermot was truly a legend in traditional music
circles. Born into a musical family his late father Darby was a fine
flute-player and it was he who taught Dermot and his sister and
brothers their first tunes. Through meeting and playing with many of
the older generation they quickly picked up the traditional style of
music associated with their native part of East Mayo and adjoining
parts of counties Sligo and Roscommon.

Throughthe late 1970s and 1980s when emigration was a way of life Dermot like
so many of his contemporaries had to leave Ireland to find empoyment.He
worked on many construction and tunnelling projects by day, mostly in
and around the Manchester area. By night his music brought a welcome
reminder of home to his fellow countrymen,and his regular music venues
included The Clarence and The Gardener's Arms, both in Rusholme.

In the early 1990s he moved to London where he played in a number of
musical combinations at various gigs mostly in the north-west London
area including ¡ras na Gael in Queen's Park, The Good Mixer and Nag's
Head in Camden Town, The Fiddler's Elbow in Kentish Town; and
Mary Murphy's on Chalk Farm Road. In the mid-1990s he moved to America
and soon became the mainstay of a number of gigs and sessions in the
New York and New Jersey area. His arrival there brought a breath of
fresh air to the musical scene and musicians of every age and ability
looked him up to. Fellow family member Paul Waldron said: "They say all
great music has a tinge of sadness to it and this was true of
Dermot Grogan's music." He had the gift of being able to play music
that was both joyful and lonesome at the same time. While best known
as an accordion and flute player Dermot also played the fiddle very
well. He had the gift of making a good tune better through his tasteful
and understated finger-work, his steady control of the bellows, his
measured use of the bass and his understanding of phrasing and timing
that brought out the music in every tune he played. Though it might
not be well known he was a nice singer as well and his sensitive
interpretation of Irish ballads made it obvious he was a natural
musician. Fame and fortune were never important to Dermot and because
of this he leaves behind very few commercial recordings. Hopefully
through other recordings made down the years that music that he made
his own and that he shared so generously will live on.

Dermot's death is deeply regretted by his mother Bridget, partner Sheila, sister
Bridie, brothers John and Michael, brother-in-law John, nephew Joseph,
relatives and a large circle of friends including the worldwide traditional music fraternity.

 

 

Nicely said.

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