KEEPING IT LIT Trad singer Daoirí Farrell. Pic: Desmond Farrell
Acclaimed Dublin-born traditional singer, bouzouki player and rising star Daoirí Farrell will perform at the Linenhall Arts Centre in Castlebar tomorrow evening (Wednesday), June 26 at 8pm. A former electrician, he decided to become a musician after seeing Christy Moore perform on TV – and the sparks have been flying since.
Daoirí Farrell has fans in high places too, with folk singers like Donal Lunny describing him as one of most important singers to come out of Ireland in recent years. After releasing a promising debut album, ‘The First Turn’, in 2009, Daoirí (pronounced ‘Derry’) spent several years studying traditional music and performance at respected colleges across Ireland. While at the University of Limerick, Fintan Vallely introduced him to the singing of the late Liam Weldon, an encounter that was to prove formative to his sound and his approach to folk song.
Farrell cut his teeth as a singer in Dublin’s famous Góilín Traditional Singers Club and at other sessions across the city, many of which he still visits regularly. Following his studies he quickly found work accompanying artists including Christy Moore, as well as a list of names that sounds like a who’s who of folk music: Dónal Lunny, Martin Hayes, Dennis Cahill, Alan Doherty, Danú, Dervish, Julie Fowlis, Arty McGlynn, The John Carty Big Band, Kíla, Sean Keane, Gerry O’Connor (banjo), Gerry O’Connor (fiddle), Lankum and more. In 2013 he won the All Ireland Champion Singer award at the Fleadh in Co Derry, and in 2015 won the prestigious Danny Kyle Award at Celtic Connections in Glasgow with the line-up FourWinds.
Daoirí finally stepped into the limelight in his own right, launching his own solo live career at Celtic Connections, in January 2016. In May the same year he was invited to fly to Manchester to do a live session on BBC Radio 2, just a week before his first UK tour. His name was suddenly everywhere and festival and show dates started to stream in from across the world.
Daoirí’s second album True Born Irish Man (2017) went on to win him two BBC Folk Awards in 2017 (Best Traditional Track and Best Newcomer), with UK music-magazine Songlines hailing the record as ‘an album that could yet prove to be one of the most significant Irish releases of recent years’ and Mark Radcliffe of BBC Radio 2’s Folk Show describing the singer as ‘effortless, instinctive, natural … the real deal’.
He has since performed in Australia, Canada, Belgium, Denmark, Sweden, The Czech Republic, USA, Portugal and more and played festivals including Cambridge Folk Festival, Milwaukee Irish Festival, Vancouver Island Folk Festival, the National Folk Festival of Australia and many more. In 2018 he toured the UK with Transatlantic Sessions and recorded his next album with Dónal Lunny in the producer’s chair. His latest album. ‘A Lifetime of Happiness’ was released last February.
To book tickets to Daoirí Farrell (€12 each) contact the Linenhall Arts Centre on 094 9023733 or visit www.thelinenhall.com.