Green Shoots Of Traditional Music Revival In Longford

While County Longford has always produced its fair share of accomplished traditional musicians and in some cases exemplary traditional musicians it is fair to say the quality of the musicianship has not always been reflected in the size of the local audience for trad music. Since the show band era of the sixties and seventies Country and Irish and Country and Western have been the pre-dominant popular music forms.

A distinct change in popular musical tastes and participation has become apparent with the re-emergence of a strong traditional music scene in Longford. Some years ago Longford was one of the few counties in Ireland that didn’t have a county Fleadh Ceoil now the county fleadh is one of the major music events of the year. This year’s three day event was held in Edgeworthstown and attracted hundreds of traditional music lovers from the midlands and border counties to enjoy a huge array of excellent music, song and dance. In addition to the musical element the ancient art of The Seanachi was evident with story tellers from throughout the region regaling young and old alike with stories true and “not so true” from the past and present. An interesting addition to this year’s Fleadh Ceoil Contae Longfoirt was the programming of a comhra competition for Irish conversationalists. A very welcome support for the future development of traditional music in Longford has been the establishment of the Saturday Music Club in Edgeworthstown.

In light of these and other local developments traditional music appears to be making a strong come back in Longford.