Jubilee year for harp-guitar duo

maire ni chathasaigh and chris newman
maire ni chathasaigh and chris newman
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THIS is the 25th anniversary year of the enduring partnership of Irish harpist Maire Ni Chathasaigh and guitarist Chris Newman.

In that time they have established themselves as two of the most sympathetic and outstanding musicians on the acoustic music scene.

She is rightly hailed as ‘the doyenne of Irish harp players’ while Chris’s guitar playing is world-class.

Maire was born into a well-known Cork musical family and she was already proficient on a variety of other instruments by the time that she began to play the harp at the age of 11.

She developed a variety of new techniques and she quickly became a regular tv and radio broadcastser, winning the All-Ireland and Pan-Celtic Harp Competitions on several occasions.

Her partnership with Chris made its début at the 1987 Cambridge Folk Festival. Since then their performances have bowled over audiences across the globe.

They have created six albums together and their live performances are unforgettable experiences.

In 2008 they recorded a quartet CD, Heartstring Sessions, with legendary guitarist Arty McGlynn and Máire’s sister, Nollaig Casey , a virtuoso fiddle player.

Now Chris and Maire are heading to South Yorkshire to continue their musical journey.

They are at the Rock@Maltby, which meets at the Wesley Centre, in Blyth Road,Maltby, next Friday. Tomorrow’s guests, for a sell-out show, are Dave Berry and the Cruisers.

THREE great shows are lined up at Sheffield’s Greystones venue in the week ahead.

They kick off with girl duo Madison Violet on Sunday. Brenley MacEachern and Lisa MacIsaac’s musicianship and stunning voices show why their native Canada is fast becoming one of the hottest music spots.

Next Wednesday, the venue has Grandpa Banana, who began his career as a bluegrass banjo player on the east coast with Banana and the Bunch. Mentored by the likes of Bill Kieth and The Charles River Valley Boys, he went on to help form The Youngbloods with Joe Bauer, Jesse Colin Young and Jerry Corbit.

He was accompanist to Mimi Farina for more than 20 years, played with Norton Buffalo, Steve Kimock and Friends, Dan Hicks and his Hot Licks and old time psychedelic rock with The Barry The Fish Melton band.

On Saturday, Feb 11 Patsy Matheson and Becky Mills, who are half of the award winning, all-female group, Waking the Witch, will be there.

SOME of the best known names on the South Yorkshire Folk circuit will be appearing at the annual Peter Burnett Birthday Bash in support of St Luke’s Hospice.

The popular concert, which will be held at Coal Aston Village Hall on Saturday, February 18, will feature Judy Dunlop and Jon Scaife, Ray Hearne and Ciaran Boyle Hannah James and Sam Sweeney and the Sheffield Folk Chorale. There will also be support from Spoil the Dance and Pete Garratt and Ken Atkinson.

Tickets are £10, from Peter Burnett on 0114 2352344 or at fredpeterb@talktalk.net