Traditional Notes by Dick Glasgow

SUNDAY the 31st of August, sees that legendary singer/songwriter 'Mickey MacConnell' appearing at a 'Black Nun Folk Club' special!

Mickey MacConnell is a native of Enniskillen, & is best known for his song "Only Our Rivers Run Free". This song was recorded by many international artists, including Mary Black, The Three Tenors & the James Last Orchestra.

Now living in Listowel, Co. Kerry, Mickey has recorded three CDs, the most recent being "Mickey MacConnell Live in John B's", which features the late playwright John B. Keane.

He spent most of his working life in Dublin, working as a journalist with The Irish Press Group, & later with the Irish Times. It was only when he moved to Kerry, almost 20 years ago, that he seriously concentrated on his music, & since then he has appeared on many international stages, including the Edinburgh & Belfast Folk & Arts Festivals.

Artists who have recorded his material include Niamh Parsons, Christy Moore, the RTE Concert Orchestra & others too numerous to mention. He comes from a musical family, his brother Cathal, who has appeared at the Black Nun himself, is a wonderful Flute player & fine singer with the long running band, "The Boys of the Lough".

His songs comprise a mix of political satire, humour & some much more serious material, & take a wry look at life in, not only Ireland but, internationally.

He continues to work as a freelance journalist, making rare appearances on the Irish circuit.

This is going to be a very special night, so I would recommend you get along sharpish, to ensure yourself a good seat. The venue is the Central Bar, Ballycastle, & the sound will be looked after, as always, by the ever

excellent 'Festival Productions'. Doors open at 8.30pm, & admission is only 7.

Australian Singer

Last time round at the Black Nun we saw the bouncy, bubbly singer /songwriter, Emaline Delapaix, who had travelled all the way from her home in Australia, to entertain us with her very own eclectic brand of songs. She had collected two very fine musicians to accompany her, while passing through England, & Sarah on Guitar & Emma on Cello were worthy of a gig on their own.

They had played in Cork the previous night, then driven up that day, & were doing the Black Nun gig, before driving back down to Rosslaire, that night, straight after the gig! Despite such a rigourous schedule, the girls gave a terrific performance, much loved by the large crowd who proved just how much they had enjoyed the concert by buying almost a whole box of CDs, always a great litmus test of a good night.

Emaline went down really well, & enjoyed the atmosphere at the Black Nun herself, so much, that she insisted on asking one of the audience, club regular Liam, to take a few photographs of her & the band. Later, she asked if she could bring her whole Australian band with her to the Black Nun, on her next tour - now that would certainly be a night, not to miss.

Also performing at the club that night, for our Open Mic session beforehand, were local girls Danielle & Ann-Marie Brown, who played a couple of lively sets of Irish tunes & Danielle sang a couple of lovely songs. Incidentally,

congratulations to Danielle, who went on, later that week, to take 2nd place in the 'Stars in Your Eyes' competition in Portstewart, not a surprise to anyone who is familiar with Danielle's singing.

We were also very lucky to have local hero, Tom Laverty, as the other Open Mic guest at the club that night. Tom turned in a super set, which had folk saying they would quite happily have listened to Tom all night, never mind the guest, so we trust Tom won't be a stranger, & we hope to have him back to the club in the near future as a guest in his own right, to give us a night of his own songs - so watch this space for details.

Campbeltown Festival

Anyone who fancies a wonderful weekend of the very best in Scottish Traditional Music & Song, would be well advised to check out the guest list for this years MULL OF KINTYRE MUSIC FESTIVAL, which takes place this weekend in Campbeltown. Another very good reason why we should have a Ferry link to Argyll.

Among the guests booked for this years bash are 'Malinky', recent guests of the Black Nun, & 'Back of the Moon'. By the way, both of these bands have been supported in concert by Ballycastle's very own 'Diamond Ceili Bandits', who can vouch for the fact that both of these bands are brilliant.

Also on the bill are Calico, La Sonera Calaveras, Deuch n' Dorus, The Moonshiners & Arthur Johnstone.

The Mull of Kintyre Festival runs from the 21st to the 24th, & anyone wishing more details should contact:- The secretary, 2d Meadowburn Place, Campbeltown, Argyll. PA28 6ST, Tel +44 (0) 1586 551053 - Fax +44 (0) 1586 554972 - e.mail: or for more info on the Festival, check out:

Enjoy yer music.