TOM WALSH grew up in a musical family in the Dublin suburb of Rathmines. His father Fergus was a noted dance bandleader. In the late 1960s, Tom began to play guitar and mandolin, and as his expertise quickly developed he became captivated by the emergence of a generation of Irish traditional and folk groups, spearheaded by Planxty. He formed an early musical alliance with Joe Foley, a bouzouki player who has subsequently built an awesome reputation as a luthier. Tom and Joe have played together since 1972, and enjoy a level of musical telepathy, which enriches any environment
After serving a musical apprenticeship with various fledgling combinations, Tom and Joe formed a band called AN BEAL BOCHT in 1980 from participants in the Monday night sessions held there - the group also included Tim Ryan on button accordeon Hugh Magee on flute and Johnny Curtis on bodhran. They quickly built a reputation as a live act, performing regularly at all the major Dublin folk and traditional venues, notably at Ollie Casserley's Blackbird Club in Slattery's of Capel St. The next incarnation of An Beal Bocht took shape in the mid-1980s when uilleann piper and singer Pat Broaders, along with guitarist Mark Lysaght, joined Tom, Joe and Johnny to form An Beal Bocht Version 2. This group definitely evoked echoes of Planxty both in terms of instrumentation and style. Sadly apart from some demos, both line-up was never recorded, and after some success at home and abroad on the gig circuit, split up in 1988.
In the '90s, Tom continued his musical journey with the association of Joe Foley. An Beal Bocht made some fleeting re-appearances, notably at the Oslo Irish Music Festival in 1993. Then, in the mid-90s, things stepped up a gear with the formation of RATTLIN' STRINGS, where Tom and Joe linked up with high-calibre musicians to form a powerhouse traditional supergroup which recorded two notable CDs. After over 30 years writing, recording and performing music, Tom decided to make a solo CD along with treasured musical friends, "In Company".
“Touch of Wood” is his 2005 release.
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