Musicians of Roscommon: (Courtesy of The Knotted Chord Archive, 2002).
Packie Duignan(1922-1992) Flute, whistle.
Born in Collier’s Road, Arigna, County Roscommon, in the famous coal mining region, into a family with an interest in singing but no particular musical background. Packie, who worked in the mines until the 1970’s, started off on a Clarkes whistle.
One of his early and major flute influences was Leitrim flute player John McKenna who recorded approx. 60 ‘78’s in the United States from 1921 to 1937 . Paddy’s diaphragm-driven style, or ‘breathy’ approach, is associated with McKenna.
He played with the Drumshambo based Shannon Star Ceili Band for 15 years from 1958. As well as a great flute player Packie was renowned for his sense of humour.
He recorded a duet album with fiddler Seamus Horan "Traditional Music from County Leitrim"(Ossian) which is still highly regarded for it’s great drive and rhythm.
In later years Packie mostly played around Drumshambo and Arigna with Seamus Horan, along with bouzouki player Ciaran Emmett.
Packie also made some recordings for Topic in the late 1970’s, which later appeared on a compilation "Irish traditional music"(Temple records). A cd called "A tribute to Packie Duignan" was released in 1995 of a concert at the Joe Mooney Summer School in Drumshambo. He also made several radio and television appearances.
Among a younger generation of flute/whistle players to cite Packie’s influence is Catherine McEvoy and Mary Bergin.
A memorial to Packie stands in the village of Drumshambo, County Leitrim(just over the border from Arigna)(FV)
You can listen to short samples from some of the tracks from this artist using the player below.
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