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It’s a Long Long Way From Santa Fe to Here !

Gerry Carthy

Gerry Carthy, Thursday 20th June

We are delighted to announce that Gerry Carthy will perform in The Pillar House on Thursday 20th June as part of his Irish Summer Tour

Now based in Santa Fe with his son Michael, Gerry Carthy was born in Castlebar, County Mayo. While he learned to play whistle in the fife and drum band at his childhoodschool, his father’s fiddle playing also surely had an influence on the young Carthy. When he was eighteen years old, Carthy took the boat to England like so many other young Irishmen who had to emigrate to find work. He worked on construction and in a steel factory during the two years he spent in England. The plight of the exile is a common theme in Irish music.

It was during these years in England that Carthy developed a keen interest in his own traditional music and literature. In 1969, after three months in London he moved to the West Country and lived in Cheltenham, Gloucestershire where, playing whistle and mandolin, he formed a folk music trio and got involved in the local folk clubs which were thriving then, like the coffee houses in America.

But the West of Ireland and its ‘Celtic Twilight’ atmosphere was always calling and before long he moved back to Mayo for a year, now taking up the tenor banjo. The following year, 1973, he enrolled at University College Galway, 50 miles south of his home town. For the next ten years Carthy lived in Galway City and played in traditional Irish sessions around the town. Galway is where he truly learned his trade. In the seventies there was a wealth of music in Galway since there were so many native traditional musicians. His musical mentors and friends in Galway were the unknown characters who were the life and soul of the music scene in the seventies – Peter Galligan, Mickey Finn, Sean Tyrell, Jim Dillon, Jackie Small, Henry Higgins, Noel Sherlock, Seany Francis, Kevin Garvey, Johnny Keaney, Pat Broderick, Donal Staunton, Pat Broderick, Pat Conneely, Charlie Harris, Sean O’Conaire, Tommy Nolan, who was the resident fiddle player at O’Malley’s Bar where the Sunday morning sessions took place, and the older traditional players Eddie Maloney, Jimmy Cummins, Lar Kelly and Vincent Keegan who frequented Mrs. Cullens Bar, the pub for ‘trad’ in those days. During the summer months Carthy and a friend from Castlebar, Brendan Fahy, a singer and guitar player roamed around continental Europe playing on the streets and in the cafes.

In 1981 Carthy spent 10 months in America mainly in New York City where he played at Gurdy’s Folk City on a St. Patrick’s Day gig opening for a band called Touchstone – a band who mixed Irish and American music well. This time too he was with a guitarist/singer, Archie Meaney from Ennis Co. Clare. But before long it was back to Ireland once more. He found himself in Academia again, this time taking a teacher’s diploma at U.C.G. in Galway. Again the road called and an old dream of Carthy’s urged him back to America. That dream was to work his way from New York to San Francisco and see America with ‘Jack Kerouac’ eyes! On the way or rather on the road Gerry was directed through Santa Fe. August 2016 marked 30 years in the Southwest. He makes his living playing Irish Traditional music. He also played the banjo in a traditional Dixieland Jazz Band, The Red Hot Chiles for 10 years. In the early nineties he was selected as an Artist in Residence in New Mexico for Traditional Irish Music. Carthy has also been a long-standing member of the faculty in the Contemporary Music Department at the College of Santa Fe where he taught a Celtic Ensemble class.

Carthy plays the music on a variety of instruments. His repertoire includes the Folk Music of Northern New Mexico and American tunes and ballads. He touches on different strains of Irish music. The traditional dance tunes – jigs, reels, hornpipes, polkas and he has a particular fondness for slow airs; the old ballads brought to life first by the Clancy Brothers in Greenwich Village in the sixties; the modern folk influence which started in Ireland with groups like Sweeney’s Men, The Johnstons, Emmet Spiceland and the electric folk band Steeleye Span who were based in England. From the Ceili Bands of the fifties to the polish of today’s greatest exponents of traditional Irish music, The Chieftains, Carthy knows what he is doing. Added to this, his appreciation and sensitive interpretation of the music of the old travelling harpers of Ireland make Carthy’s show an experience not to be missed!

Pole Performance

Pole Dancing

The Pillar House welcomes Pole Performance, Friday 26th April 2019

The west of Ireland’s first all pole dancing show was created in 2016 by Racheal Palmer who set out to give aspiring pole dancers an opportunity to perform in the public eye to develop and grow their stage presence.

Pole Performance was created to show the versatile side to pole dancing portraying an artistic and theatrical performance art inspired by various performing arts such as ballet – contemporary – dance – cirque as well as keeping with the original roots of pole dancing. We welcome all genders of pole dancers – to show the public that pole dancing is much more than the stereotype that people associate pole dance with a mix of genders we are breaking down the barrier and stigma that currently exists around pole dancing.

Our performers are a mix of professional dancers and growing artists who are passionate about pole dancing and bring their own style to the stage. Some have even worked and performed at Electric Picnic! Pole Performance supports the local arts and we invite special guest performers such as musicians and burlesque dancers who are also members of the pole community adding of touch of their creative energy bringing diversity to our audience. Pole Performance was created to bring some fun entertainment for the audience – with a variety of acts from – sport – sexy – sassy – badassy – classy – theatrical and contemporary – group and solo performances.

Cork Balladeer Jimmy Crowley – 5th April

Jimmy Crowley

One of the most influential figures on the Irish Folk Scene, Jimmy Crowley will perform at The Pillar House on Friday 5th April at 9pm

The Tumble Down Shack in Athlone

Jimmy Crowley has been a central figure in the Irish folk scene since the enthusiastic reception of his debut album The Boys of Fairhill in 1977. With his band Stokers Lodge their mission was to present the street ballads of Cork city complimented by the ornate folk songs of the rural hinterland of Cork and Kerry in an exciting orchestration of uilleann pipes, concertina, autoharp, harmonium, mandolin, bouzouki and guitar in their native accent. The second album, Camphouse Ballads hurtled the band into the vortex of the folk scene; they were now performing at folk festivals and making tv appearances in Ireland, Britain and America .Both albums were produced by Micheál Ó Dómhnaill of the Bothy Band. Like Chris Twomey of Stokers Lodge, Micheál was a seminal influence in Jimmy’s musical education.

Gráinne Hunt in The Pillar House

Grainne Hunt

We are delighted to welcome the amazing Gráinne Hunt to The Pillar House on Friday 29th March 2019

Grainne Hunt is a contemporary folk singer and songwriter from Monaghan. With consistently on-point, captivating vocals and well-honed, insightful songs, Grainne has shared stages with Glen Hansard and Mark Geary and has been compared to vocal icons Tracy Chapman and Nathalie Merchant.
Having just returned from Nashville, with a new record, ‘This Secret’, in her pocket, Grainne is working towards it’s release in mid 2019. Recorded with Thomm Jutz (Nanci Griffith, Maura O’Connell) and featuring the skills of Mark Fain (Ry Cooder) on bass and Lynn Williams (John Hiatt) on drums, it is already gaining attention in the US.
Early 2019 will also see the release of an Irish folk album, Songs from Ireland, recorded with award winning guitarist Brendan Walsh. Recorded earlier this year in Soundville Studios Luzern, including songs Buachaill on Eirne and Raglan Road,

Farmers & Farmerettes Country Night Out

Pillar house - Farmers country

A great night promised for Saturday 16th February. Country Music night with DJ John Finnerty for all you busy Farmers & Farmerettes and friends.

The Pillar House Celebrates 60 Years

Evelyn, Godfrey & Cathal Gibbons

It’s with great pride that we celebrate 60 years since Godfrey & Evelyn Gibbons bought The Pillar House and opened in September 1958. In that time there’s been many changes both inside and outside the building but the Gibbons ownership has remained constant.

To celebrate we would like to invite you to a night of Celebration, we hope that we will have lots of current and previous customers and staff to celebrate with us on Saturday 10th November from 9pm.

Dónal Clancy – Friday 13th July

Donal Clancy

Dónal Clancy is regarded as one of Ireland’s finest guitarists. He is the son of the world renowned singer Liam Clancy of The Clancy Brothers and Tommy Makem and has since the death of his father focused his attention on the family repertoire of songs that he grew up with, while keeping the Clancy tradition alive with his solo performances.

Mad Craic Comedy

Mad  Craic Comedy comes to Ballinasloe – Friday 25th May 9pm

Mad Craic Comedy

Stephen Ryan

Stephen is the winner of the 2016 Forbidden Fruit Comedy Competition, Runner up in the Tedfest Competition, a finalist in the Irish Comedian of the Year Competition and a two time finalist in the prestigious Chortle Student Comedy Competition. This Limerick comedian has performed at numerous festivals throughout Ireland and the UK including Edinburgh, Latitude, Forbidden Fruit, Tedfest, Charlie Chaplin Film Festival amongst others and is a regular on the Irish comedy circuit. He is recognisable from the Mario Rosenstock Show, the Rubberbandits guides, Fair City as well as Lidl and Irish Pharmacy Union ads. ‘This composed Irishman has a charming way with words, elegantly tricksy wordplay liberally peppering his set.’

Sean Gorman
Sean Gorman is a musically comedian from Ballina Co.Mayo but he is original from the kingdom of Gormania which has been lost to time do to the new world order and the illuminati but that is a long story. His comedy career all started in 2010 when he moved to Dublin to start a thrash metal band but somehow got roped into comedy. Now seven years he is living in Galway and playing comedy clubs around Ireland and open mics where sometime he has been taken off stage by dry lads. He has supported many big comedy names such as that funny guy every town has and the king of Saudi Arabia from well…Saudi Arabia . When he is not on stage he does a spot of busking to support his many addiction problems.
John O’Hare
John O’Hare has performed at the Vodafone Comedy Carnival, Edinburgh Fringe and Cork Comedy Festival. He has supported the likes of Phil Jupitus, Terry Alderton, Dave McSavage, Tom Rhodes and Tom Stade.   He has toured with Al Lubel and has performed throughout Europe with the Good The Bad The Irish Tour. He won Comedian of the Galway Fringe in 2016. Semi Finalist Irish Comedian of the Year 2017 and Show Me The Funny Finalist 2017. Despite being completely and utterly class John remains a humble performer

 

Ross McCarthy

Ross first took up the mic in 2015 and has gone from strength to strength ever since. A regular on the Galway Comedy Scene, Ross has shared the stage with Joe Rooney, Dave McSavage, Pat McDonnell, John Colleary, & Katherine Lynch. Ross has also performed in many prestigious comedy events including Edinburgh Fringe Festival, Galway Fringe Festival, and the finals of both Show Me the Funny, and Forbidden Fruit Comedy Talent Search in 2017.

With a combination of witty observations, sarcastic rants & Irish charm, Ross is fast becoming one of the most exciting prospects in Irish Comedy.

 

Cormac Begley & Rushad Eggleston

Cormac Begley & Rushad Eggleston

Rushad Eggleston is an improvisational cellist, singer, legend, clown, goblin, cello-shredder and acrobat. He is regarded as one of the leading cellists of his generation and is an innovator who has expanded the soundscape and popularity of the cello in recent years. In 2002 his self-titled Compass Records release with Fiddlers 4 was nominated for a Grammy Award.

Cormac Begley is bass, baritone, treble and picollo concertina player from west-Kerry. His recent debut album has recieved widespread acclaim, ammassing 9 five star reviews to date and has been described an ‘earthy delight’ (Irish Times, ★ ★ ★ ★★), ‘Superb’ (Folking, ★ ★ ★ ★★) and ‘Spectacular’ (Irish Echo).

Following a recent sold out show in Dublin’s National Concert Hall, Rushad and Cormac embark on a nationwide tour. This is a new and exciting duet not to be missed!

Ticket Price:
15 euros

Videos of Rushad and Cormac:

Video of Rushad:

Video of Cormac:

Ruby Dukes – Saturday 27th January

Ruby Dukes

We’re delighted to have Ruby Dukes play their first gig in The Pillar House, this coming Saturday night.

Don’t miss it, a great covers band members which include Ballinasloe’s own Ronan O’Healy.