The first of the full-time professional Celtic bands to arise on the international scene, BOYS OF THE LOUGH now occupy a unique position of respect in the world of traditional music. They have completed over seventy tours of the USA and their performances and recordings are spread over five decades.
True originals, the Boys have been uniquely respected on both sides of the Atlantic since the 1960s and continue to act as role models for countless younger musicians. Their concerts, recordings and compositions were crucial in bringing about the current explosion of interest in all facets of Celtic music.
The Boys have established a reputation for technical brilliance and integrity in their performance of Irish and Scottish music. A ready wit and sense of fun enliven their onstage performance while their original arrangements and dynamic interactions between the two major strands of the Celtic tradition keep the music always bright and fresh.
A great strength of the Boys is the diversity of their musical origins: the distinctly individual traditions come together to create exciting stage performances which feature individual strengths and spirited ensemble playing.
A hallmark of the band’s approach has been their refusal to dilute their music with the addition of inappropriate vocalists or electric instruments or percussion. They prefer the natural tone colours of their acoustic instruments, traditionally played. Almost alone among Celtic groups they truly play “music that tastes of itself”.
Since the first tour in 1967 the Boys have travelled extensively in their mission to gain traditional music a wider audience and respect. Their warm and vital performances have won them friends from the village halls of Scotland to international concert and festival stages, establishing a precedent that many others have followed.
The music of the Boys of the Lough ranges widely through the fiddle, flute, piping and vocal traditions of Ireland and encompasses the fiddle music of Shetland and also Scotland and North America. Although sometimes melodically complex and difficult to play, the music remains at all times easily accessible to the listener through the compelling dance rhythms, which give it such life. Contrast this with evocative slow airs and beautifully structured songs, some in the Irish language. Add the range of tone colours available from the band’s acoustic instruments and it is easy to see the great appeal of their lively performances!
January 30th 2014 – Celtic Connections (Cathal McConnell & Friends Concert) – Glasgow – www.celticconnections.com
June 4th – 8th – Denmark tour – Details to follow
He has three acclaimed solo albums to his name, as well as numerous recordings with the groups Boys of the Lough and Beginish. With the Boys of the Lough, he has toured extensively throughout the United States, and has been featured repeatedly on the Garrison Keilor radio program “A Prairie Home Companion”. He also does work with TG4 researching and presenting programmes and also is involved in the organising of Scoil Cheoil an Earraigh which is held in west Kerry each February.
Garry’s solo album, “Cat Won’t Fly,” features some of his original works. His recording of the music of Ireland’s best-known composer, Turlough O’Carolan, Called “Carolan’s Dream,” is considered one of the finest interpretations of this 18th century composer.
Garry is also known for his studio production skills. He has helped produce albums for many musicians and groups including the Clancy Brothers, Danu, Mairtin O’Connor, Dordan, and Seamus and Manus McGuire. He also makes fine violins and mandocellos in his workshop.