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Aidan Coffey


From the CD Booklet " Seamus Creagh, Aidan Coffey "

Aidan Coffey, was born in 1962 to a farming family near Bunmahon Co Waterford. There was no music in the household, but his grandmother was a good singer and a granduncle, long dead, had played the melodion. His mother recalls Aidan's reaction in the playpen, from the age of one, whenever Radio Eireann featured traditional music. He learned piano, piano-accordion and tin whistle at school where music played an important part in the curriculam, and recalls cycling the three miles into Kilmacthomas village, for classical piano lessons with Stanley Bowyer ( father of Brendan, the showband singer ), when he was ten or eleven years old.

Later, during his teens he was to spend a number of years learning the bagpipes and uilleann pipes. While music classes gave him a formal base, Aidan cultivated the traditional side of his musical persona through his own efforts. During the early 1980s, as he developed his style and repertoire, he received great encouragement from such local musicians as the late Tommy Norris, Tomas Morrissey, Gusty Carey, Nora Hogan, Jack Ryan and Mickey Dalton. He tuned in to traditional music programmes, such as those on Radio na Gaeltachta, where he heard recordings off all the promonent traditional musicians of the day. In his late teens, he taugh himself to play the two-row B/C chromatic accordion.

Aidan played at countless sessions around Dungarvan, Ring, Kilrossanty and Ballymacarbry. He also began to travel to Fleadhanna Ceoil, where his interest lay more in the social rather than the competitive aspects.Most of his fellow musicians at sessions in his home area were a good deal older than he was, a fact that was to have a lasting effect on his musical development.The sight of a teenager playing among older musicians may have seemed unusual, but performing with them gave Aidan an unshakeable musical foundation.

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