Just a year younger than his brother Jimmy, Vincent grew up in a house that was steeped in Donegal fiddle music. Their father, Peter (1900 – 1995), was a well known fiddle player as was his father , James. Their home was a regular venue for musicians to come to visit and play music. As if they weren't lucky enough in terms of growing up and learning to play the fiddle in this environment , their house was a place where both John and Mickey Doherty regularly called and spent time.
Vincent and Jimmy were keen to learn the fiddle when they were young boys. When both parents would be out of the house, they would take turns at playing their father's fiddle while the other kept watch. This was a risky business as there were strict orders in the house that no one was to play around with the father's fiddle. Money was very scarce in those days and if you had a fiddle (which not every fiddle player had !) it would be well looked after as it would not be easily replaced if it was broken.
Like many in the area Vincent had to leave home to find work. He spent some time in Scotland and England, and after returning to Ireland he spent some years in Co. Meath. He returned home to Glenties to rear a family, combining working a small hill farm and working at building.
Vincent Campbell's f iddle playing is truly wonderful as it has a real old time sound to it. His repertoire is huge with much being derived directly from the famous Doherty brothers John and Mickey. He has many tunes and special versions that no one else has. His bowing, fingering and droning are often quite spectacular. Listeners often wonder how just one fiddle player could be doing so much all at the same time. Vincent was born in 1938.
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