Donie Carroll

... the man and his music.


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The Irish trad musician helping orphans in the slums of Bangkok.

Posted by ducksyc on April 28, 2014 at 7:45 AM Comments comments (10)


For the month of March (also known as Irish American Heritage Month) IrishCentral is tapping into the heartbeat of the Irish American community. The Unsung Heroes series features inspiring individuals from across the US who do extraordinary work in their communities and respective fields. From advocates to artists, from local legends to dedicated educators; from a high school baseball team to dynamo nuns in their 80s, these people are making a difference and to them we tip our hats in thanks.


There’s quite a number of places you might recognize Donie Carroll from: the Irish folk scene from the mid-sixties with his folk group Finnegan's Wake; as resident musician at Kate Kearney’s in New York from the mid-nineties, or perhaps his role in the 2007 Off-Broadway production of John B Keane's "SIVE."


For almost 50 years Donie has been a prominent voice in the Irish and Irish American arts scenes. Having moved to New York in 1993, he is now based in Queens where he continues to perform and promote traditional folk music.


His most recent work has seen him bring his gift of music to the slums of Bangkok, where he works with the Mercy Center for abandoned and abused children. Set up by Fr. Joe Maeir, it now houses more than 150 children. Over one third have HIV/AIDS.


“The orphanage is in a slum area known as Klong Toey, otherwise known as ‘the slaughterhouse”, Donie says, “I visited for the first time last July and helped to set up music classes for the children because it’s known that music is a wonderful therapy.”


He made his most recent trip last month to help out on the current project; building an after-care center for teenagers with aids. “We have no big CEO, it’s all voluntary so every penny goes to the center”, he says.


Donie was nominated for his charity work and outstanding contribution to the arts. But for Donie, his motivation is simple. “I have four grandkids myself in Cork and I could not imagine them abused or abandoned on the streets. Kids are kids, it doesn’t matter where they are. I am just trying to make a small difference.”




Read more:

The Irish Examiner - Donie Carroll Makes A Wonderful "Divil Of A Noise"

Posted by ducksyc on September 23, 2013 at 8:45 AM Comments comments (1)

Donie Carroll Makes A Wonderful "Divil Of A Noise"


Cork man Donie Carroll

By Gwen Orel

I dare you not to sing along with Cork man Donie Carroll's second CD, "Divil of a Noise."

The 11 tracks include rousing music hall numbers, like "The Army of Today's All Right," which is actually a comic Irish answer to the British World War I recruiting number, as well as lovely parlor songs like the Victorian "Love's Old Sweet Song."

It is even better than Donie's debut, "Down the Slippery Gap," which came out a few years ago: self-assured, wonderfully arranged and sequenced to go from slower to faster and back, and all together irresistible.

Donie is well known in New York through his hosting the Murphy's Bar session in Sunnyside, and his participation in the Harp and Shamrock Orchestra.

He's been a favorite on both of Joanie Madden's Folk 'N Irish Cruises.

This CD should entice a larger audience to him. 2013 is young, but I will already name it one of the best of the year.

Accompanied by some great players, including Caitlin Warbelow on fiddle and Heather Bixler on violin (OK, they're the same instrument, but Caitlin takes the trad solos while Heather the bel canto tunes), Mick Moloney, Jimmy Crowley and Máirtín De Cógáin on backup vocals, Billy McComiskey on accordion, Joanie Madden on whistle and Gabriel Donohue on a whole host of things (guitar, bodhán, I've lost count), Donie shows off his love of rare auld songs with a bright contemporary arrangement.

There's also a brass and woodwind combo, which is so right for some of these old numbers, featuring Darin Kelly on trumpet, "Tuba Joe" Exley on tuba (what else?), and Kate Bowling on piccolo.

Donie's voice never sounded so perfect as he gently sings the comic song "Are Ye Right There, Michael?" by Percy French, a sly protest against the West Clare Railway Company.

You have to listen several times before you get the sarcasm in it - if you've seen the way the trains run in "The Quiet Man" or "The Rising of the Moon," you'll know what the song's about.

Just writing out the title has made the song go round in my head again.

Donie has a gruff voice and a strong Cork accent; he's absolutely on key and his delivery is understated and often hilarious.

When he sings the more shamelessly sentimental songs, like the lovely old "In the Shade of the Old Apple Tree" by Harry Williams and Eghert Van Alstyne, he shows some emotion but never becomes bloated with it.

Seamlessly inserted into the CD are newer songs such as Barney Rushe's "Aisling," a song about contemporary emigration which portrays a young flight attendant - which has one of the sweetest choruses on the album. Mick Curry's "Two Thousand Years after Jesus" protests the eviction of the traveling folk in Ireland with the destruction of their camp sites.

The CD is beautifully designed, a fold-out with clear notes (and not printed too small!) from Donie on every song, giving some background information as well as his connection to them, and a fine essay from Don Meade, the producer of the Blarney Star Concert Series at Glucksman Ireland House.

Overall, "Divil of a Noise" makes a sweet sound. The songs on the CD will lift your spirits, make you sigh, and urge you to sing too.

Gwen Orel runs the blog and podcast, New York Irish Arts.

Read the full report at :

Joanie Maddens Folk N' Irish Cruise 2014

Posted by ducksyc on August 28, 2013 at 2:05 PM Comments comments (0)

Join myself and a host of wonderful world class talents for Joanie Maddens Folk N' Irish Cruise.

Cork v Tipperary 1960 NHL Final

Posted by ducksyc on August 27, 2013 at 3:25 PM Comments comments (0)

This was at the old Cork Athletic grounds where the first thing you would take notice of on the way over from Douglas would be the sound of the Dunne Brothers, Mickey and Christy. I remember Christy had a little bag hanging from the neck of the banjo and i used to love dropping in the penny that i got from my dad. Don't know how that stand held up all those people i think its quite possible that these were people who just hadn't the money to get in. Us kids of course would duck under the turnstile and if a few kids went to the game on their own you would always ask an adult by saying " carry us in sir" and then you got the chance to see the famous Christy Ring. I think the band may be the Carrigaline Pipe Band.

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Michael & Christy Dunne, 1979

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