Today I will be crowing about Frank Claudy and how happy we are that he will be with us. Check back for our other artist profile in the next few days.
As anyone who loves traditional Irish music must surely know, Frank Claudy is a flute and tin whistle player originally from Washington, D.C. who has been sharing his beautiful music and rich expertise not only in the Quad-Cities of Iowa and Illinois where he has made his home but also on the teaching staff at the Catskills Irish Arts Week for many years.
You have very likely heard Frank playing for céilís and local festivals with Keith, piper Jon Cooper (who joined us on our 2017 album Folk Songs You Never Sang in Grade School), and fiddler Guy Drollinger as The Quad Cities Céilí Band and The Big River Reeltime Band.
Most of my interaction with Frank in the past has been when I’ve been delighted to find myself playing alongside him at various Irish sessions through the years. I’m going to tell you something about Frank that I don’t think I’ve ever shared with him: I can think of no other album that has transformed my understanding of and devotion to traditional Irish music more than Frank’s 2010 album The Pretty Blue Seagull with Paul De Grae, Patrick O’Dea, and Anne & Joe Skelton. It is the finest and most authentic modern collection of recordings of tunes from the historic and enduring O’Neill collection and an album that I continue to find myself reaching for when I want to be transported by a rush of how much I love and respect traditional Irish music.
Keith and I dearly hope that Frank’s retirement at the end of February from his position as Physician Advisor for the Genesis Health System (no slouch, this fellow) means that we will have many more chances to play together in the future.
If you’d like a taste of what it means to be transported by music as I have often been by Frank, don’t miss us at The Sanctuary this Saturday, March 17 from 5-7 pm.