Joanie and Joe Madden.


How It’s New York: Joe Madden was a beloved Irish musician in New York and Ireland and a major figure in the dance scene, as well as in the Catskills.  Joanie told me there were over 3000 people at his wake, and 25 musicians onstage.

How It’s Irish:  Joe left East Galway for the states in 1959, and the album Joanie finally got him to record in a sneak visit to a studio was called An Afternoon in Galway.  Joanie held the launch of that album up at the Catskills last summer.  Musicians onstage included Martin Mulhaire, Liz Carroll, Willie Kelly, Mike Rafferty, Felix Dolan, Father Charlie Coen, Billy McComiskey and Martin Connolly.   

Congratulations to Joanie Madden, and her father Joe.  She posted on Facebook that she was heading to the VFW Hall in Bogota, New Jersey, where the Mike Rafferty Branch of Comhaltas Ceili and Session wwas adding her father’s name so it will now be known as the “Mike Rafferty & Joe Madden Branch.”
“two great friends who shared a lifetime of friendship and music.”  she wrote!

I interviewed Joanie about A Galway Afternoon for Irish Music Magazine; here’s an excerpt:

Irish music has changed a lot since her father, an All-Ireland champion in 1957, left Ireland for America in 1959. That’s one of the things that makes this album so special. That it came out as well as it did is also miraculous, says Joanie. …

Joe Madden’s energetic, skilled playing and enthusiasm made him a legend in New York. Joanie remembers, “If I were giving a Christmas party at my house he would walk in the door at 4pm; he wouldn’t stop to eat or do anything, he’d play nonstop. It would be a never ending session. He was unreal that way! We went up to the Catskills one night, my mother sent him up with three shirts to play. He had to buy two more, he sweated so much!”

That was from this year’s annual issue.  Have you subscribed yet?  It’s always full of interviews, articles and cd reviews (my preview of this summer’s Catskills Irish Arts Week and interview with Paul Keating will be in the July issue).

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