Lisdoonvarna is a famed Irish resort area located on the southwest coast of County Clare. Long recognized for its healing salt water springs and its celebrated annual Bachelor's Fest, Lisdoonvarna has also become known in recent years as a meeting place for some of Ireland's finest musicians.
The Road to Lisdoonvarna is a collection of 15 tunes mainly from southwest Ireland. ("Cliffs of Dooneen", "Galway Races"), where the Dooleys have their roots and have toured many times. There are also Irish music hall songs the brothers learned from their grandfather, T.W. McMullin ("Dan O'Brien's Raffle", "Odd Fellow's Hall"); Two songs by contemporary authors Ralph McTell ("From Clare to Here") and Denis Allen ("Limerick, You're a Lady"); and one composition by the legendary harpist O'Carolan ("Si Bheag Si Mhor"--The big fairy hill and the little fairy hill.)
Through the years, The Road to Lisdoonvarna has remained one of the Dooleys' most popular albums. Most of it was actually recorded (with fiddler Gerry Field) over a few spirited nights in early March 1986 but two songs are included on this reissue that go back even further. "Odd Fellows Hall" and "Irish Rover" were originally released on a 45 for juke box play in 1982. The boys had grown up singing these numbers, which became audience favorites at Kilkenny Castle Inn, Chicago, where the trio performed in the eighties. Today, in their current performances, these two songs are as requested as ever.
Jimmy Moore was recently brought into the studio to add a whistle on "Si Bheag Si Mhor", Staten Island Ferry", Fisher's Hornpipe" and "Drowsey Maggie". Just for fun with the tape still rolling another tune was added, "Christmas Eve", with Jim Dooley on guitar.
From their cousin Den Cooney's farm in east Clare, over misty hilltops, across the ocean to the Irish pubs of Chicago and their own back yard, the Dooleys' music goes on and on--with The Road to Lisdoonvarna.Click here for "The Dooley Irish Experience".