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Colm Naughton


Biog - (courtesy of the Artist's site):
Colm Naughton is a renowned banjo and mandolin player from Creggs in North-East Galway. He started playing music at an early age which was inevitable, growing up in a large family of musicians. Neither of his parents played but both had a graet love of the music which rubbed off on Colm.
"I must have been about 5 I'd say and I remember sitting in the kitchen at home while some of the older ones were playing a tune. I had a whistle and was blowing into it for all I was worth and thinking, 'I wish I could play this music'."
At the age of 7 Colm started attending whistle classes with the Roscommon fiddle player, Paddy Ryan and moved from there onto the banjo at age 11.
"It seemed like a natural progression. I had two older brothers that played the banjo already, Seamus & Finbarr, and there was one in the house. I suppose I never really considered anything else. Maybe I should have. At least Finbarr had the sense to move from the banjo to the fiddle."
The area around where Colm grew up couldn't really be called a hot-bed of traditional music with very few local musicians. There were, however, opportunities to attend sessions in Roscommon town where he got to meet some of the great Roscommon musicians such as Patsy Hanley, Frank Jordan, John Carlos, John Wynne, the Kelly family and more. There were also opportunities to attend Fleadh's and festivals. Allthough he never took part in any of the competitions the fleadh's were a great place to meet and play with other musicians.
It wasn't until Colm moved to Galway in 1994 that the world of traditional music really opened up for him. There was a very vibrant session scene in Galway at that time, helped by some of the great traditional music pubs such as Taylor's, Taaffe's, The Crane and Tigh Neachtain to mention just a few. There was also a wide variety of musical styles to be heard with musicians from all over the country and further afield converging on the city. Colm quickly established himself on the scene and became a regular at many of the sessions. In 1998 while playing at a session in The Crane Bar with bouzouki player Bill Wright they were approached by an interesting looking character who was wondering if they would be intereseted in playing with him in The Róisín Dubh for two nights.
"We were playing away doing our ususal thing when I looked up and saw these two unusual looking characters looking down at the session. One had what looked like a train engineers dungarees and hat on and the other had a cowboy hat, full length trench coat and cowboy boots. It turned out to be Steve Earle and Peter Rowan. I have to admit I didn't know who they were but I soon found out. We had a couple of great nights in the Róisín Dubh"
Also in 1998, Colm was approached by Mick Crehan to see if he would be interested in being involved in setting up a traditional music school in Galway. Of course, he was delighted and agreed to do whatever he could to help. The Galway School of Irish Traditional music was formed shortly thereafter and as well as being the resident Banjo/Mandolin tutor, Colm served terms as both treasurer and secretary for the school.
In the following years Colm was involved in tours in the U.S., Germany, Norway, Poland and spent a year as a resident musician in Puerto Rico, Gran Canaria. In 1999, he toured the East coast of the U.S. with the Galway based band, String Company. The band's repertoire consisted mainly of Gypsy and Scandanavian music. More recently, in 2010, he toured Ireland with the show Fuaim Chonamara featuring the Cunningham sean-nós dancers.
Colm has recorded as a guest musician with Orlaith Keane, John Beag Ó Flatharta, String Company, Pat Coyne and on the charity CD 'From West to East'.
He currently plays with singer Matt Keane from Caherlistrane and they can be seen regularly around the West of Ireland. In 2009, he met another singing member of the Keane family, Orlaith. They were married in 2011.




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