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Cherish The Ladies

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Cherish the Ladies - 'Woman of the House'

Cherish the Ladies - 'Woman of the House'

Rounder Records, 2005

The Beginning:

Cherish The Ladies, a band name which comes from a traditional Irish jig, were originally formed as a one-night-only show group as part of a New York City folkloric presentation series, curated by Mick Maloney, that celebrated women in traditional Irish music. The original band members, who included flutist/tin whistler Joanie Madden and fiddler Eileen Ivers, had such fun at their performance that they decided to make a go of it as a band. This was in 1985 and now, over 25 years later, Cherish The Ladies (with a few cast changes) are still going strong.

Awards and Honors:

In 1999, Cherish The Ladies were nominated for a Grammy Award for their collaborative album with the Boston Pops Symphony, The Celtic Album (Compare Prices). Additionally, according to their official website: "they have attained numerous awards and achievements including; named Best Musical Group of the Year by the BBC, Top North American Celtic Group at the Irish Music Awards, Entertainment Group of the Year by the Irish Voice Newspaper, chosen the Glasgow Royal Concert Hall's International Group of the Year at the Celtic Connections Festival in Scotland and voted Top North American Celtic act by NPR Radio "Thistle and Shamrock" program. In 2010, the ladies were immortalized as they were bestowed a street naming as "Joanie Madden and Cherish the Ladies" became a permanent street sign on the Grand Concourse in the Bronx, New York."

Cherish The Ladies in Concert:

Cherish The Ladies are known as one of the most accomplished (and fun to watch) groups in all of acoustic folk music. Their concerts feature the band's signature multi-layered vocal harmonies and tremendous instrumental artistry, as well as Irish step-dancers (often advanced-level students and teachers from the nearest school of Irish Dance) and, of course, bandleader Joanie Madden's legendary story- and joke-telling skills.

Current Band Members:

Joanie Madden - Flute, Tin Whistle. Bronx-born founding member Joanie Madden, a first-generation Irish-American from a musical family (her mother was a traditional dancer and her father was a All-Ireland Champion accordion player), was the first American to ever win the Senior All-Ireland Championship on the tin whistle, an honor she secured in 1984. Since then, she's amassed a huge number of various awards and honors, including an Irish-American Musicians' Hall of Fame membership and an Ellis Island Medal of Honor. She's also appeared on over 100 recordings.

Mary Coogan - Guitar, banjo, mandolin. New York-born Coogan is a self-taught multi-instrumentalist who also holds a Master's Degree in Education. She has recorded a number of albums, including a duet album with her Irish-born accordion-playing father, Jim Coogan.

Mirella Murray - Accordion. Hailing from a musical family in Connemara, Murray holds a number of championship titles as a piano accordion player, and, due to both her extensive travels and studies as well as her keen memory and excellent playing, is known as a repository of wonderful old Irish tunes.

Grainne Murphy - Fiddle. Boston-born Grainne (pronounced "grawn-ya")Murphy comes from yet another musical family, and studied under legendary fiddler Seamus Connolly. She took All-Ireland honors at the age of 15 and, after a brief diversion for college, law school, and a few years of legal practice, decided (to the benefit of Irish music fans everywhere) to become a full-time musician after all.

Kathleen Boyle - Piano. A Glaswegian from a Donegal family, Boyle holds both All-Scotland and All-Britain honors on both the piano and the accordion, and a degree from the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Dance. She tours relentlessly, and when not on the road (or in the air), teaches music.

Recommended Starter CDs:


Threads of Time (1998) - Compare Prices
The Girls Won't Leave the Boys Alone (2001) - Compare Prices
Woman of the House (2005) - Compare Prices
On Christmas Night (2004; Christmas Music) - Compare Prices
Country Crossroads: The Nashville Sessions (2011; Country/Irish Crossover) - Compare Prices
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