"Tony MacMahon, knowing that Cooley was dying from cancer, arranged this famous recording session in Lahiffe's Bar in Peterswell, County Galway on November 29, 1973. Accompanying Cooley was his brother Jack on bodhran and banjo player Des Mulkere from Crusheen in Co Clare. Joe Cooley died a month later, in St Luke's Hospital, Dublin, on December 20, 1973. This clip is precious to me. Go ndéana Dia trócaire ar a anam."
Written by the bannerman for youtube
"There must be more of these around somewhere. The man was a master at emphasizing certain notes which gave him his excellent tempo. He played at a lively tempo, yet not so fast as to destroy the melody."
"Perfect celebratory affirmation of LIFE!"
"What's most interesting to me about this video is the look on the faces of those in the audience, the pure enjoyment they are getting from the music and the performers. It's such a contrast to now. Thanks for posting this insight into a time, a people and their music."
"The obvious love of this music is so strong, that I doubt Mr Cooley would let a little thing like his passing stop him from playing, he rests in peace, but I suspect, not in silence."
Written for bannerman and youtube.
Wherever Irish Music is played Joe Cooley is never far away. He composed great Irish music that is played at most seisuins and his name an essential part of that tradition, still spoken with love among the ordinary people's heritage. - Brian Clarke