Donie takes his ministry seriously

How it’s New York:      The concert, held at Irish Repertory Theatre,  benefitted Hurricane Sandy charity GRAYBEARDS
How it’s Irish: Most of the gray beards on stage first sprouted in Cork

The Catandfiddle session leader Tony Horswill reports on the concert to benefit The Mercy Centre, held at Irish Rep this past Monday. Tony played in it too, so had a real stage-eye view of the night!

Donie Carroll is a man who knows how to organize a fun party and this one at the Irish Repertory Theatre last Monday was no exception. When Donie issues the call, New York Irish musicians don’t hesitate to answer and pitch in, particularly when it benefits the Mercy Centre every year and  GrayBeards this year.  

The genial impresario (pictured above with Jorjette Anderson)

 put on a cross-section of the best of Irish musicians and songsters that you can find in the city, bolstered by a hefty contingent of Cork men and women, in the cozy Irish Repertory Theatre

There really were too many  to mention so I just give you below he running order which was pinned to the fridge in what was simultaneously both the most crowded and entertaining basement I have ever hung out in.

The times listed below of course were approximate in the extreme (so much so that I had to miss the end to get the last PATH train home), but the musicianship was “dead on”. I give you a semi-photographic sense of the first half below, starting with Máirtín de Cógaín describing the “one that got away”.

“It was this big”

“maybe a bit bigger” 

1. Introduction, Donie Carroll; Cathy Maguire, compere.
2. Mick Moloney, Ivan Goff, Martin O Connell, Liz Hanley, Megan Downes (20 minutes)
3. Máirtín de Cógaín with backup musicians (10 minutes)
4. Dan Larkin (5 minutes)
5. Sean Henshaw and Gabriel Donohue (10 minutes)
6. Lillie’s Group (25 minutes)
(Consul General Noel Kilkenny Speaks)
7. Paul Carroll
8. Victor Cuneen and Gabriel Donohue (10 minutes)
9. Cathy Maguire (5 minutes)
10. Martin Daly and Johnny Jackpot (10 minutes)

11. Marie Reilly, Tom Dunne, Caitlin Warbelow, Gabriel Donohue (15 minutes)

“no, this big”
“It was a MONSTER”
Liz Hanley, Mick Moloney, Ivan Goff and Martin  O’Connell deliver a gorgeous polished set while Mairtin continues to think about his fish

In addition to the professional musicians  Donie gave us a sample from the revolving smorgasbord of the local session scene at Murphy’s Bar, and a recreation of a raucous session at Lillie’s made perfect with a poignant moment when “Waltz Me Around Again, Willie” was played as a tribute to Linda Mason Hood.

If like me you can’t wait another year for this much entertainment please contact Donie at to get a copy of the “In Partnership with the Poor” CD which accompanied last year’s equally momentous concert.

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