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FEBRUARY 2019: (2019 CENTENNIAL OF PETE SEEGERS BIRTH)
 
2019 is the centennial of the famous American folk singer/songwriter and activist Pete Seeger (May 3rd 2019 toJanuary 27th 2014. He led a coulourful long life doing what he believed in. He had a unique way of including audience participation everywhere he performed, be they young or old and made everyone forget their hang ups and join in. As he used to cite something like this, "it's better to sing or play the wrong note than not to sing or play at all". My initial connection to Pete Seeger is through Irish folk music and listening to my older brothers LP records of the Dubliners and The Clancy Brothers and Tommy Makem. As well as Luke Kellys voice, I loved the sound of the long neck five string banjo that he played and getting the basics from my older brother Tim who plays a standard scale five string, I self taught myself to play the style of Luke and Tommy Makem. Researching the long neck banjo, I soon found out that Pete had invented it first adding two frets at the bass end of the neck in 1943 and eventually adding three frets in 1955. This became the standard for commercial manufacturers of the long neck banjos like the Vega Banjo Company who actually made the infamous model the "Vega Pete Seeger". This banjo became a distinctive sound in American folk music with groups like the Kingston Trio and contributed to the sound of the Dubliners and The Clancy Brothers and Tommy Makem. AS a matter of fact, Pete played with the latter ensemble in both recordings and live concerts while Tommy Makem learned to play the long neck banjo from the famous Pete tutorial publication "How To Play The Five Sring Banjo". Pete first heard the five string while visiting North Carolina and attending square dances where the instrument was popularly played.
    There is hundreds of anecdotes attributed to Pete and one of my favourite ones was: "In the 1970s, Pete Seeger was invited to sing in Barcelona, Spain. Francisco Franco's fascist government, the last of the dictatorships that started World War II, was still in power but declining. A pro-democracy movement was gaining strength and to prove it, they invited America's best-known freedom singer to Spain. More than a hundred thousand people were in the stadium, where rock bands had played all day. But the crowd had come for Seeger. As Pete prepared to go on, government officials handed him a list of songs he was not allowed to sing. Pete studied it mournfully, saying it looked an awful lot like his set list. But they insisted: he must not sing any of these songs. Pete took the government's list of banned songs and strolled on stage. He held up the paper and said, "I've been told that I'm not allowed to sing these songs." He grinned at the crowd and said, "So I'll just play the chords; maybe you know the words. They didn't say anything about you singing them." He strummed his banjo to one song after another, and they all sang. A hundred thousand defiant freedom singers breaking the law with Pete Seeger, filling the stadium with words their government did not want them to hear, words they all knew and had sung together, in secret circles, for years. What could the government do? Arrest a hundred thousand singers? It had been beaten by a few banjo chords and the fame of a man whose songs were on the lips of the whole world.
     Anyway, I am putting together a set list of his songs and anecdotes, and will perform at festivals, concerts and events throughout 2019. My passion for the long neck banjo lives on and I am delighted to be participating in a Banjo event at the renowned Music shop, Eagle Music Shop in Huddersfield, UK on May 11th 2019 where I will be joining Greg Deering, owner of the Deering Banjo Company and responsible for rescuing the Vega banjo brand and producing long neck banjos under the Vega and Deering names. Here is a link to the event. Banjo 12 Event at Eagle Music, Huddersfield, UK May 11th 2019
    I was luck enough to have met all my long neck banjo heroes Luke Kelly (played his banjo at Cork Opera House stage bar in July 1981), Tommy Makem and visited Pete Seeger at his home in Beacon New York with my son Ricky in July 2019 just after his 90th birthday.
 

   

Pat with Pete Seeger on Pete's doorstep in Beacon New York 21st July 2009

 
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SEPTEMBER 2018
 
A big shout out to all our friends at this side of the Mississippi! My wife Kathleen and I had a great time visiting no less than 6 states in the USA this August and September and enjoyed performing at festivals, concerts and house concerts as well as attending our first US wedding and performing Johnny Duhan's epic song "The Voyage" at the couples wedding ceremony in Pennsylvania. We also received a warm welcome form my friend Joel at The famous Martin Guitar Company  receining a VIP tour of the factory and a surprise laid on by Joel in that I got to play a 1942 D45 from the museum! Thank you friends, old and new!
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
    
 
   
 

 

 

 

       Irish Music Cruises

FEBRUARY 2018

IRISH FOLK MUSIC ICELAND CRUISE MAY 2018. I am delighted to be providing Irish Music on this special cruise. Still time to book this exclusive 10 day Irish Folk Music cruise to Iceland. It leaves Dublin Ireland on 10th May 2018 with some wonderful stops including Belfast and Shetland Islands as well as two days in Reykjavík and then visiting the northern Icelandic city of Akureyri where the Northern lights can frequently be seen. I am looking forward to seeing all you enthusiastic folks on board the Celebrity Eclipse.

For more info and special deals, contact irishmusiccruises@gmail.com or call 1-508-938-9463

Website: http://www.irishmusiccruises.com

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Welcome to Long Neck Music, the home of multiple music solutions. Hope you will find the service or product you are looking for or that you will enjoy browsing the contents.

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We are based in Dripsey, County Cork , Ireland  concentrating primarily on providing entertainment and products in the acoustic music genres, especially Irish and other folk music, bluegrass and American Old Time music.

Pat Kelleher has been an accomplished musician for over 35 years and his first love is Irish folk singing and song writing in recent times. He is also a renowned five string banjo player with several different styles to his credit including folk style, old time (clawhammer) and bluegrass three finger picking style. He specialises in the long neck five string in particular. This long neck banjo was invented by the American folk legend Pete Seeger (whom Pat was privileged to have met). Pat's first inspiration was probably Irelands most renowned commercial folk singer, Luke Kelly. Kelly is one of those entertainers that you seldom hear, if ever, negative comments regarding his singing in particular and will never be equalled. Pat once again at age 17 was lucky to have met Luke at the Cork Opera house in July 1981 and had a little informal one to one session in the backstage bar where Luke, well renowned for his generosity insisted on Pat playing his long neck Vega (Pete Seeger) model banjo and singing a song. "The Travelling People" was the song Pat sang and then Luke returned the compliment by singing "Raglan Road", a memory to be cherished for ever. Luke had just retired his long neck Merlin banjo and explained how his sister picked up the Vega long neck in the U.S. for him.

Pat has been in consistent demand as a session recording musician, particularly as a banjoist over the years and has been continuously advised to become a professional entertainer. He has befriended some of the great folk greats including Tommy Makem, Bobby Clancy, Eric Bogle, Pete Seeger, Sean Cannon (Dubliners) and many more.

He performs throughout his native Ireland at festivals, theatres and pub venues and has toured in the USA, Germany, Switzerland and the UK. He has played support to many of the international greats including The Dubliners, The Furey Brothers & Davey Arthur, Christy Moore, Ryans Fancy, The Wolfe Tones, Bobby & Finbarr Clancy, Jim McCann and Brendan Grace to name but a few

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Long Neck Music, Magoola, Dripsey, Co. Cork. P12 PK81 Ireland

Email: info@longneckmusic.com      Phone: + 353 (0) 21 7334667

 

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