Welcome to a site which celebrates music and culture from around the world
MERLEFEST 2004 PICTURES NOW UP
This is the original page I did after my first and second Merlefest a few years back and was just to explain to people why I did these pages. It is all still relevant and I have nothing more to add except my love for the music and the people who make it is stronger than ever. I have cut and pasted it below but in case you dont want to read all that waffle about your host then here are the links to the pics to save you some time
have been playing music all my life. I have also been writing about
my own favourite type of music for some time. The music of North America
from the Appalachian
Hills to the California
Coast has always been special to me. So
last year when as part of my work I got the chance to go the very best
of the North American acoustic music festivals I jumped at the chance.
Myself and Lisa,
my wife set out for the beautiful mountains of North Carolina to a
weekend which will live with us for a long time to come. I wrote many
articles about it for various web sites and newspapers and have spoken
about it on radio.
My name is John Cutliffe from Donegal now living in Atlanta Georgia but lived for almost 12 years in London. Then I moved back to my native Ireland for 2 years to live and work in from a cttage on the sea. I am a musician and have grown up playing Irish traditional and bluegrass music in pubs. I also played with pop and rock bands over the years including Killybegs based Pluto. During the wilder days in London our Irish bluegrass band the Pyros teamed up with the late Frank Tovey (AKA Fad Gadget) and the recorded 2 albums with him on Mute Records, Grand Union and Worried Men in Second Hand Suits and an album with Rory McLeod on Cookin' Vinyl called Traveling Home.
Pyros some years earlier in our home town
of Buncrana and
were something of a cult band in Donegal and the North West of Ireland.
Various lineups have featured the cream of Donegal musicians including Kevin
Doherty (Four Men and a Dog) and Ciaran
Tourish (Altan) with the 3 original members, Paul
Rodden, Laurence Doherty and myself. During
this time we got the chance to meet and play with some of the best
trad and contemporary musicians in the world. These included the other
members of Altan, Gerry O Connor,
the late blues hero Ted Hawkins and
rock legends such as former Wings guitarist Henry
McCullough. Since moving to London I was
lucky enough to play and work with more and more great musicians and
started JigTime as
a way of promoting Irish bands and other events of a Celtic nature.
I also spent a year playing with Durham based band The
Whisky Priests. My other promotional activities
included booking a wide range of one off gigs and sessions including
providing up to 20 musicians and bands for The
Cheltenham Gold Cup and Murphy's
Gold Cup racing weekends. I have also
been a contributor to various publications including writing reviews
of albums and gigs for Ri Ra magazine in London and the UK's biggest
Irish newspaper The Irish Post.
Then a twist of fate and a love story worthy of an epic movie dragged me across the big pond to the US where I continue to write about and play music for the past year have played and recorded with many fine musicians and bands here in the deep south.
Who knows what the future will bring. No matter what may it be peaceful for you all.