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John Carty


John Carty (Biography courtesy of the Artist's site, 2006)
+ Courtesy of the Traditional Irish Music Society

John Carty is one of Irelandís finest traditional musicians having been awarded the Irish Television station, TG4ís Traditional Musician of the Year in 2003. He joins previous acclaimed winners Matt Molloy (Chieftains flautist), Tommy Peoples (Master Fiddler), Mary Bergin (whistle player, Dordan), M·ire NÌ Chathasaigh (Harpist) and Paddy Keenan (Uilleann Piper), all of whom are considered to be the leading exponents of their instruments within the Irish tradition.

Carty already has three solo fiddle albums, two banjo albums, two group albums and a sprinkling of recorded tenor guitar and flute music recordings under his belt so it's little wonder he should have joined such elusive ranks.

Born in London, fiddler John Carty has established himself among the elite in Irish traditional music and as a staunch supporter of its preservation. Carty developed his love for fiddle, banjo, and flute, all of which he has mastered, through his multi-instrumentalist father who was a member of the Glenside Ceili Band in London in the 1960ís.

At the age of 16 Carty found himself playing in sessions with some of Irish music's finest and he began to entertain the thought of relocating to Ireland. Soon after settling in Boyle, Co Roscommon, Carty released his 1994 debut banjo album, The Cat that Ate the Candle to positive reviews.

This led to his first fiddle album, Last Night's Fun, released on Shanachie Records in 1996. This album has been described as a milestone in recorded fiddle music. In 1997 he formed At the Racket, a fun, loose, free-spirited dance band named after an old Flanagan Brothers 78 rpm. The group recorded two highly acclaimed CDs, "At the Racket" (RR001) and "Mirth Making Heroes" (RR003) and toured all the major European festivals.

In 2000 he teamed up with guitarist Arty McGlynn and began work on his second fiddle release, "Yeh, That's All It Is". His third record for Shanachie, At It Again, arrived in 2003.

July 2005 saw the launch of Cartyís latest CD featuring banjo and tenor guitar, "I Will If I Can". Accompanied by Alec Finn, Brian McGrath and Johnny McDonagh, Carty once again shows his plectrum prowess to full affect.

John performs regularly with Chieftainís flautist Matt Molloy exploring the North Connaught tradition they both love. A CD of their music accompanied by Arty McGlynn will be launched shortly.

He is also touring the UK, US and Ireland with re-formed super group, Patrick Street. The group includes legendary musicians Andy Irvine, Kevin Burke, Jackie Daly and Ged Foley. He has also appeared as a special guest with the Chieftains and De Danaan.

John's solo and group careers see him in demand and he has performed at all major festivals throughout Europe, North America and Australasia.

Biography (Courtesy of the Traditional Irish Music Society site)
John Carty was born in London, England in 1962 of Irish parents. There was music on both sides of his family and it was handed down from generation to generation. John’s own father, John P, is a fine flute player and a multi-instrumentalist. With such a selection of instruments available to the young John it was inevitable that he dabbled with most of them.

John started playing in the early 1970s when Clareman Brendan Mulkere started music lessons in the school John attended. He went on to enter Fleadh competitions over the years securing titles at all levels culminating in wining the Senior All-Ireland banjo title in 1982. During the 1980s John became a mainstay of the flourishing London session scene. He spent a year playing and teaching music in Australia and was included in the 1985 Comhaltas European Tour.

In 1991 John moved to Ireland settling in Boyle, Co Roscommon. He recorded his first solo album on banjo entitled “The Cat that ate the Candle” in 1994 which was released by Clo Iar Chonnachta (CIC099). The one fiddle track on this led to a three album contract with Shanachie Records and his first fiddle album Last Night’s Fun (Shanachie 79098) was released in 1996. This album has been described as a milestone in recorded fiddle music. The end of 2000 saw the release of his second album with Shanachie Yeh, That’s All It Is (Shanachie 78034) on fiddle and tenor guitar accompanied by Brian McGrath and Arty McGlynn. This CD has been hailed as his best yet. “Carty’s fiddle mastery makes this one of the finest new CDs showcasing the Irish melodic tradition at its best” – Paul Carr, Tower Records. In July 2003 Shanachie Records will release Carty's latest fiddle CD At It Again, on this album he is accompanied by Alec Finn, Brian McGrath, Francis Gaffney and Arty McGlynn. Also featured is his brother James on flute.

In 1997 John put together the band AT THE RACKET which includes himself, Briain McGrath, Garry O’Briain and Seamus O’Donnell. Their first CD of the same name was released in late 1997 and the band were voted as one of the acts of the future in the Irish Music Magazine’s readers poll. The band have since toured and played at major festivals all over Ireland, as well as in Germany, Denmark, UK and Finland. Their second CD Mirth Making Heroes was released in May 2001. John has also been involved in many other recordings notably Brian Rooney’s acclaimed albums The Godfather and From London to Leitrim which John also produced and Ben Lennon’s The Natural Bridge.

John is a much sought after tutor for summer schools and workshops. Currently he tours extensively both with the band and as a solo performer.

You can listen to short samples from some of the tracks from this artist using the player below.




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