Máire Brennan Speaks
Celtic Songstress Discusses Her Musical Journey
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• Part 6: Celtic Appeal
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Paula: You come from a very musical family. Was music something that just came naturally to you?

Maire: Oh boy, yes! I'm the eldest of nine and my father still performs in his pubs that he bought 32 years ago, and before that he had what you call a showband, playing in dancehalls, but the social life kind of changed about 30 years ago and it was all moving into the pubs and the bars, so rather than him playing for somebody else, because it was his only trade, he bought a pub - he's an Irishman who has never smoked nor drank in his life, so that's quite rare, but what it meant for us was a stage when we came home for the school holidays, and really that's how the band forms, picking up the instruments that were left around the house from his showband and the music, we used to listen to it, and also, and this is very important with the music that we grew up with, with growing up in an area that was complete Gaelic, Irish, and my mother was a music teacher, and with my grandparents teaching us as well at school, we would have grown up with the traditional songs and at the same time listening to my father's band playing the popular music of whatever - Buddy Holly, the Everly Brother, everything from Nat King Cole to whatever was going. The sheet music he would be getting - I still have load of that I've kept, and it was a real fusion for us, particularly in the remote area in Donegal where we grew up, it would have been quite strange. But music was always, always in the house.

Paula: You have performed all over the World. Is there any place or concert that holds a special memory for you?

Maire: I think I've had so many, in all parts of the World with festivals. Festivals are great because the atmosphere is always so great and you share with other musicians, you meet other musicians. I'd really have to say the festivals I have played in are a great joy because there is a great amount of people and there is a great atmosphere. Going back to Donegal, when you go back there after the success of something you have won or on the charts, it's a great buzz, there's a great sense and feeling. It really does vary all around; I've had some fantastic concerts in Holland. It's the audience that really makes it. I've had some great concerts in American as well, in Boston for instance and Chicago.

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