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PostPosted: Wed Dec 02, 2009 12:57 pm 
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Location: Cavan Ireland
Eddie Clarke was a master of Traditional Irish Music on the Chromatic Harmonica, his playing spanning three decades from the mid 1960s to the late 1980s.

Born in Virginia, Co Cavan in 1945, he was the second of a family of five. His father Andrew Clarke, was the Principal in Virginia Boys National School and a native of Killinkere, his mother formally Mollie McGovern was from the town of Virginia. Known as Eamon during his years in Cavan, he was educated initially in the National School where he and his brother Ultan were members of a very successful Virginia School Mouthorgan Band in the early 1950s. He qualified as a teacher from St Patrick’s Teacher Training College in Dublin in 1965 and spent most of his working life as a teacher in Dublin. He regularly returned to Virginia at weekends and holiday time. He was a keen supporter of Gaelic games and played with the local Virginia Blues football team.

While a student in Dublin he re-kindled his musical interest and he visited many of the traditional music venues to listen to and appreciate the well established musicians of the time. He amassed a deep knowledge of the whole tradition of music, song and language and he became a master on the harmonica in his own unique style.

He won the Oireachtas Duet competition in 1972 and 1973 with the renowned Clare fiddler Joe Ryan, who lived at Julianstown, Co Meath, and he later performed at the US Smithsonian Institute Bicentennial Festival of American Folklife in 1976. While in the US Eddie recorded an album “Sailing into Walpole’s Marsh” with fiddle player Maeve Donnelly and singers Mairéad Ní Domhnaill and Sean Corcoran and in 1981 he recorded the highly acclaimed duet album, “Crossroads”, with Joe Ryan.

Following his untimely death in 2004, a quantity of cassette tapes of his solo harmonica playing and his singing in a unique traditional style were discovered in his home. Well known Cavan fiddle player Antóin Mac Gabhann then started the process of having the tapes re-mastered and the result is a 4CD compilation of 3 music CDs and 1 singing CD titled 'Eddie Clarke Unheard'. It was launched recently in Hughes Pub, Dublin.

The release of these recordings ensures that Eddie’s unique musical talent will continue to inspire future generations of Irish Music lovers.

The harmonica is relatively rare in traditional music. The 'Cavan Celebration of the Music of Eddie Clarke' at the Ramor Theatre promises to be a great night of traditional music, with the opportunity to hear leading exponents on the instrument. It will also pay tribute to a native son of Virginia whose name spread across the world of traditional music.

The Project was assisted by Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann Meitheal Development Programme. Available from Website www.eddieclarke.ie , Comhaltas website www.comhaltas.ie and Claddagh Records. Information from Andrew Clarke at Email: info@eddieclarke.ie


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 02, 2009 4:03 pm 
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That's interesting. I dragged my copy of Sailing into Walpole's Marsh out just the other day.

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 03, 2009 8:34 am 
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I understand it's a 4CD set, but it's a bit pricey once you convert that to USD.


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 04, 2009 6:40 pm 
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Eddie was one of the very few people who would use a C chromatic harp to play Irish tunes. He generally held in the slide, sort of replicating the way many players these days use a harp in C# and/or F# with flipped slides to be able to play in D or G but with more authentic ornamentation. With him the slide would be in all the time except for accidentals and decorations, whereas the reverse-slide artists of today (notably Mick Kinsella in Ireland) would have the slide out except for accidentals and decorations, but with similar effect. He typically played cross-harp I believe. He wasn't as concerned as the average sessioneer would be today to play the tunes in "traditional" keys!

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 21, 2009 11:09 am 
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i've listened to the sample, he is a great player ! I'm going to buy the cd's !

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 17, 2010 12:04 pm 
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Location: Cavan Ireland
'Cavan Celebration of the Harmonica music
of Virginia’s Eamonn (Eddie) Clarke 1945-2004

at

the Ramor Theatre Virginia

Friday 19th March 2010
Time 8.30pm Adm:€16 &€14
Booking Ramor Box Office 049 8547074

Co Cavan NYAH festival launch of a a 4CD compilation of 3 music CDs and 1 singing CD
titled 'Eddie Clarke Unheard'.

The 'Cavan Celebration of the Music of Eddie Clarke' at the Ramor Theatre promises to be a great night of traditional music,
Music from the Eight branches of County Cavan Comhaltas,
Sean Walshe Harmonica
Noel Battle Mouthorgan,
Phil Clarke,Songs,Fiddle.
Aoife Geoghegan Mouthorgan
Martin Gaffney,Flute
Philip Clarke Piano
MC Antoin Mc Gabhann, Fiddle

Eamonn (Eddie) Clarke. was a master of Traditional Irish Music on the Chromatic Harmonica, his playing spanning three decades from the mid 1960s to the late 1980s.
Born in Virginia, Co Cavan in 1945, he was the second of a family of five. His father Andrew Clarke, was the Principal in Virginia Boys National School and a native of Killinkere, his mother formally Mollie McGovern was from the town of Virginia.
Eddie won the Oireachtas Duet competition in 1972 and 1973 with the renowned Clare fiddler Joe Ryan,
The CD Project was assisted by Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann Meitheal Development Programme.

CD SET Available from Website www.eddieclarke.ie ,
Information from Andrew Clarke at Email: info@eddieclarke.ie


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