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It has been a few years since I was in New York but I know the scene well from the many emails I get from friends and fellow musicians who spend a lot of time in that huge city.

Like London there is a thriving Irish scene in the pubs and clubs and many of the sessions I have sat in on there have been the best I have ever played. Many of the bigger Irish touring bands love to have a day or 2 off in New York taking in the bright lights and getting in some real fun tunes with the population of first and second generation players who have made the Big Apple their home.

And there have been many fine acts who came out of that New York scene. One of the most notable of these is Morning Star, a trio who are consistently playing pubs, clubs and festivals all over the States and abroad. I first came across and wrote about Morning Star for online.ie a few years ago and have written about them on the Irishabroad website as well. So it is high time they were profiled on JigTime.

The band is made up of Mary Courtney on Vocals, Guitar and Bodhran. John Nolan on Button Accordian and Bernadette Fee on Fiddle.

Mary is a native of Kerry but like many of us Irish has transplanted herself a couple of times along the long road to New York . From sessions in Dublin , Slogadhs in Kerry and even her own shows in Copenhagen she has certainly honed her musical talents along the way. She arrived in New York in 1982 and again in a typically Irish way got to know people very quickly and formed Morning Star.

John Nolan is a New Yorker but he is as Irish as the rest of us. Anyone at home who doubts that those who aren't born and bred in Ireland cant possibly have the “feel” for the music just have to listen to John. He was in fact the first American ever to win the senior All-Ireland championship on the button accordion and represented the US at the 1994 Aónach Paddy O'Brien in Nenagh.

The newest member of the band is Bernadette Fee another local who is very well known on the New York scene. She not only plays fiddle but is a music teacher and a champion Irish step dancer as well.

As a unit the band have a unique sound while staying true to their traditional roots. This is reflected in their popularity. They play in New York all the time when they aren't out on the road playing the many Celtic and Irish festivals around the USA . This month alone they have shows all over the great city. If you find yourself in town over the coming months or even years make sure to look the band up and soak up a little taste of real Irish American culture. I know I will be bringing a guitar to see if they let an old fogey like me sit in.

Morning Star are here to stay and are an important milestone on the musical landscape. In years to come when the map of where traditional Irish music traveled the world is drawn up there will be a huge X marking Rocky Sullivan's and all the venues where Morning Star have played.

For a full list of Morning Star shows and samples of the band's music go to

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