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Charlie Piggott

Charlie Piggott Catskills Irish Arts Week


Charlie Piggott (born 14 July 1948) is an Irish traditional musician, best known as a founding member of De Dannan and has toured extensively in Europe, Canada, and the US. He grew up playing music in County Cork, where his first instrument was the button accordion. In the early 1970s Piggott played banjo in sessions at Galway’s Cellar Bar with Frankie Gavin (fiddle), Alec Finn (bouzouki) and Johnnie “Ringo” McDonagh (bodhrán). In 1973, the group Dé Dannan was formed from sessions at Tigh Hughes, An SpidéalCo. Galway. Piggott plays in the old style and many of his seminal recordings have caused him to be hailed as “one of the most influential Irish banjoists of the generation”,[1] but after damaging his index finger in an accident on tour he reverted to playing the melodeon.[2] In 1976, he was a featured artist of the Smithsonian Institution, at the Festival of American Folk Life, for the American bicentennial. Today he plays a Black Dot Hohner Double-Ray, tuned C#/D.[3] Piggott has revived many rare traditional melodies and has a reputation for performing them in accordance with the ethos of older players who have passed the music on.[4] He later founded the Lonely Stranded Band with Miriam Collins (concertina) and Joe Corcoran (bouzouki, guitar & vocals) and their 1996 album met with great success.[5]The new millennium saw him team up with the Sliabh Luachra fiddler Gerry Harrington to record a Clo Iar Chonnachta release: The New Road.[6] Piggott has also established a considerable reputation as a lecturer, with a great knowledge of traditional music and musicians. He is co-author, with Fintan Vallely and photographer Nutan Jacques Piraprez, of Blooming Meadows: The World of Irish Traditional Musicians.[7] Having worked for a long time as a professional musician in Galway featuring regularly on television and radio, he still plays at traditional music festivals in the area.[8]