Monday, 27 May 2013

Chris Twomey, pioneer of autoharp in Ireland, passes

Niall Toner sends from Ireland the sad news of the death of Chris Twomey, one of the pioneers of bluegrass and old-time music in Ireland, after a long illness. The photo, taken in 1966 by Niall's wife Moira Toner, shows Chris on guitar and Niall on 'tater-bug' mandolin in the back yard of Parnell Terrace, off Pouladuff Road, Cork.

Niall and Chris first met on the folk scene in Cork in 1966, and became at once firm, life-long friends and musical partners, performing first as 'The Kinfolk', later in 'Paddy's Goatskin and String Band'. In the late 1960s, with a repertoire largely drawn from the Carter Family and the New Lost City Ramblers, Chris, Niall, and Niall's brother Colm formed the Lee Valley String Band.

More details are on Niall's own blog and on the Bluegrass Ireland Blog. Chris's music can be heard on his CD Midnight on the water and with the Lee Valley String Band on CD and YouTube.