The McCarthy Family

 Jacqueline (concertina), Marion (uilleann pipes and whistle), Bernadette (fiddle and piano) and Tommy Jun. (fiddle) were born in London to Irish parents who had emigrated to England from the west of Ireland in the early 1950s.  Their father Tommy was a piper and concertina player from Kilmihil Co. Clare so it was inevitable that they grew up listening to traditional music and played with all the legendary players from Ireland who were living in London.  Musicians like Máirtín Byrnes, Raymond Roland, Roger Sherlock, Danny Meehan, Paddy Taylor and Bobby Casey were all part  of a thriving music scene that they experienced first hand.  They also recall meeting John Kelly and Willie Clancy during frequent visits to Ireland.

With their father Tommy they performed as a  family group throughout Ireland and the U.K. - including The Royal Albert Hall, London.  The three girls now live in the west of Ireland where they are involved in playing and teaching traditional music on a regular basis and at annual events such as the Willie Clancy Summer School in Co. Clare.  Tommy Jun. owns a number of bars in the Boston area which have become popular venues for traditional music.  The music they play is in the west Clare style which they inherited from their father Tommy who died in 2000.  They can be heard on Jacqueline’s solo album “The Hidden Note” (1999) and on “The Family Album” (2002) which features them in solo, duet and group performances.  Geoff Wallis of Irish Music Magazine described it as “one of the best releases of Irish traditional music in the last ten years” and “possibly the best Irish traditional album of 2002”.

In 2008 the McCarthys were featured in a documentary film "Handing Down the Tunes" which covers the life of their father, from his early days, to his years spent in London and his return to live once again in Clare.  Many of Tommy's contemporaries, such as Joe Burke, Noel Hill and Reg Hall also contribute to the film.

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