Forget The Lumineers or The Wedding Band or The Mountain Goats.
You want real folk music? Try a genuine Irish band who not only all play their own music but can add a little humour and even tears to their performance.
Try The Fureys. An honest Irish male folk band of four brothers of Irish traveller heritage – Eddie, Finbar, Paul and George, from Ballyfermot, Dublin, The group formed in 1978 and consisted initially of four brothers, and often sing with Davey Arthur.
I’ve been lucky enough to see them live, and they are the most humble and hilarious group of Irish men I’ve come across (apart from my Dad and Uncle Martin who has a pet goat called Jenny).
In between their songs like When you were sweet sixteen, I will love you every time, and The Lonesome Boatman – what you’d call real music, real emotion – they recount tales of whiskey-stops with the Clancy Brothers, eagle-watching with Ronnie Drew and scrumping as children. Yes they all play their own instruments but they’re no show-offs. They may drop names and places they have travelled to but that’s all part of The Fureys.
The sound of their music makes you tap your feet, clap your hands, hum to the tune of the tin whistle, laugh a little and even shed a tear. They were one of my Dad’s favourite bands, and it’s sad that I only took real notice of them when he died.
It’s funny how something can change the way you see things. Since Dad left, it was like I was listening to their lyrics for the first time.
He always joked that he wanted The Old Man to be played at his funeral. The Fureys wrote the song about their father.
When you’re watching them they’ll have you in fits of laughter, but as soon as the music of this song starts, you fear at least half the place will break down in tears.
He got his wish, and it couldn’t have been a better fit. After my brother read out a poem, I read a little speech about Dad and then when we were all seated, we played this song…
|| Part of the A to Z Challenge ||
A post a day except Sunday for the month of April to cover topics beginning with each letter of the alphabet.
Previously on A to Z: