THERE’S something enduring about traditional Irish music, which has inspired musicians for hundreds of years.
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That tradition is certainly inspiring Ballarat musicians the Drowsy Maggies, who are making it their own and starting to see some serious success in the style.
The Drowsy Maggies has a knack at cultivating that faraway sound, judging by their numerous performances at folk festivals across the country since they first formed in January last year.
In that short time they’ve already played at Port Fairy Folk Festival, Maldon Folk Festival, Newstead Live and the National Folk Festival in Canberra. This weekend, they will perform at Portlington’s National Celtic Festival.
But it’s not just about gigs. That dreamy sound will soon be recorded thanks to a Pozible crowdfunding campaign, where the band raised enough money to record a debut album.
Vocalist, guitarist and harmonica player Rhiannon McArthur said she and fiddler Caity Brennan had discovered a love of Irish music by the same means – through their respective dads.
Brennan’s dad is well-known piper Jack Brennan and McArthur’s father is a guitarist. The two girls met at folk festivals their dads had taken them along to.
From there, they teamed up with cajon player and guitarist Ari Lane and double bassist Jordy Hickey after meeting at an Irish festival in Koroit, where they each attended as youth award winners.
McArthur said the band wasn’t professionally trained, but had learned along the way.
“We haven’t really had any musical training, we’re taught by our folks, so none of us can really read music, to be honest,” she said.
“For folk music, it’s not really required.”
McArthur said the Drowsy Maggies enjoyed introducing newcomers to the concept of Irish “tunes”.
“I love how unique it is and how different it is. I love showing people who might not have even considered tunes before,” she said.
“We make them a bit more listenable for people who might no have heard them before.”
The Drowsy Maggies will play at the National Celtic Festival this Saturday. Visit nationalcelticfestival.com
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