Tall Tales and Musical Stories from the Irish Tradition.
Time: 4:00pm - 5:00pm
Wheelchair Accessible: Yes
Age: All Ages
Booking Required: No
Carrigaline Library welcomes Len Graham to perform on Culture Night. Len Graham is one of Ireland’s best known traditional singers. He has gained an international reputation, not only for his inimitable singing style but also for the breadth of his knowledge of Irish folk music.
Traditional Irish singer Len Graham offers traditional Irish songs in English mostly from the North of Ireland, with memories from a lifetime of collecting and singing. Len’s extensive repertory of Irish songs covers the whole gamut of themes and human experience as portrayed in early classic ballads, broadside ballads, local songs, come-all-ye’s, lyric folksongs, music hall pieces; songs on politics, murder, love, emigration and much more.
Len Graham is one of Ireland’s best known Irish singers who has gained an international reputation, not only for his inimitable singing style, but also for the breadth of his knowledge of Irish folk music. Poet and writer Ciarán Carson says; “By definition, any traditional Irish singer is obliged to the past, but he assimilates the songs in the here-and now, and re-makes them in his own voice, continually. Those who know Len Graham’s singing will recognize artistry and the spontaneity of his voice; but there is no spontaneity without recollection. To be here, you must have been there; and Len has, many times.”
County Antrim born, Len Graham has been a full-time professional traditional singer since 1982. After he won the All Ireland Fleadh Cheoil na hEireann traditional singing competion in 1971 his reputation began to spread, and at the same time his own passion for the songs of his native Ulster was growing. From the early 1960s Len sought out and recorded older singers such as Eddie Butcher and Joe Holmes. His musical friendship with Joe Holmes resulted in two albums being recorded – Chaste Muses, Bards and Sages (1975) and – After Dawning (1978).
Len’s first solo album was – Wind and Water (1976) followed by – Do Me Justice (1983) and – Ye Lovers All (1985). As a founder member of the group Skylark in 1986 he toured extensively for ten years. Skylark recorded four albums – Skylark (1987), All Of It (1989), Light and Shade (1992) and Raining Bicycles (1996). In 1993 he released his book and field recording collection – It’s Of My Rambles… and also that year he recorded an album with Cathal McConnell – For the Sake Of Old Decency. In 1996 – When I was Young an album of songs for children with Pádraigin Ni Uallacháin and Garry O Briain was released. Over the years, Len has collaborated and worked with numerous musicians, poets and storytellers. His association with the late John Campbell brought storytelling and song to a world audience. Their work together over twenty years made a significant contribution toward creating a deeper cross-community understanding of shared cultural traditions during many years of conflict in the north of Ireland. Together they recorded two albums – Ebb and Flow (1998) and – Two for the Road (2001). His latest solo albums are – In Full Flight (2008) and Over The Hills And Far Away (2010). See: Over The Hills and Far Away Review Len’s book – Here I Am Amongst You on the songs, dance music and traditions of Joe Holmes (1906-1978)was published by Four Courts Press in 2010. See: http://www.fourcourtspress.ie/books/archives/joe-holmes-here-i-am-amongst-you/reviews Len Graham has performed at numerous Irish and international folk, literary and storytelling festivals, as well as appearing on many radio and television programmes. In 1992 he received the Seán O’Boyle Cultural Traditions Award in recognition of his work in Ireland as a song collector and singer. In 2002, he was honoured as the first recipient of the Irish television TG4 National Music Award for “Traditional Singer Of the Year.” In 2008 he was awarded “Keeper of the Tradition” from the Tommy Makem Festival of Traditional Song and the US Irish Music Award in the “Sean-Nós Singing” category. In 2011 Len was awarded the Gradam na mBard CCÉ (CCÉ Bardic Award) at the All-Ireland Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann.