A NEW CD by Ennis accordionist Johnny McCarthy will be launched in the Temple Gate Hotel on Thursday, May 2. All proceeds from the sale of his CD Steele’s Rock will go towards the Clare 250 Cancer Centre.
Johnny said he has been around music for most of his life. “I have been playing for over 50 years. Two of my uncles played for years in London and they used to take me to a pub in Camden Town called the Laurel Tree and I’d hear Bobby Casey and Willie Clancy playing. My father was friendly with the concertina player Paddy Murphy and the fiddle player Joe Ryan and they had a big influence on the way I played. A lot of my neighbours in Hermitage used to play as well, there was John Joe Cullinane and Tony Mahony, Paddy Donohue and lots of others.”
The CD will be launched by well-known musician Tony McMahon, while MC will be Pat Costello. There are 18 tracks on the CD, all of them named after different places around Ennis, such as the Watery Road, Pound Lane and Hermitage Hill.
“There’s one original composition on it by my son, Conor; it’s a hornpipe and it’s beautifully played by him and his wife, Yvonne.”
Guitarist Alph Duggan accompanies Johnny on most of the tracks and he paid tribute to his role. “We collaborated on my first CD in 2002, Solo Run. I was lucky to get him again for Steele’s Rock, because he has a wide knowledge and understanding of the music and his contribution exceeds mere accompaniment.”
Writing on the album cover, Tony McMahon said he had enjoyed the album greatly. “The slow, lyrical pace is steady and true, allowing the music to expand and breathe. Tune selection is tasteful and varied and is augmented by informative and interesting sleeve notes. A great recording.”
Johnny said he was glad to be supporting the Clare 250 Cancer Centre. “The building is at a very advanced stage and the pilgrimage to Lourdes for cancer sufferers and carers goes on every September.”