RENOWNED Castlefinn fiddle player Bríd Harper will tomorrow night (Friday) launch her long-awaited debut album at a special concert in Ballybofey.
Now living in Galbally, Tyrone, she will unveil her CD, ‘Bríd Harper and Friends’, in the Balor Arts Centre, where she will be joined on stage by Dermot Byrne, Steve Cooney, Brona Graham, PJ McDonald and Trevor Hutchinson.
Born and reared in Dungorman, in the traditional music heartland of east Donegal, Bríd is from a well-known musical family and has been playing the fiddle since she was just nine. She is a former member of the family céilí band, ‘Golden Harp’, which consisted of her and her five sisters, Emelia, Marian, Siobhan, Patricia and Eithne.
She also boasts relations such as uncle Francie Kelly (fiddle) and his accordion playing son Bernard from Crossroads, Killygordon. And her former neighbour, and distant relative, is none other than master fiddler, Matt McGranaghan.
Speaking to the Donegal News this week, Bríd said she is only getting around to recording an album this year as, amongst other things, she was too busy rearing her family.
“I have five children ranging in age from 17 to 24, so I suppose you could say I have been rather busy over the last 25 years,” she laughed.
“Also, I never really had any desire to record until recent years and it was also down to a lack of confidence in my own playing.”
Bríd has won many All Ireland under-age competitions at Fleadhanna ceoil and, in 1988, was awarded three major titles namely Senior All Ireland, Oireachtas na Gaeilge and Fiddler of Dooney.
Many musicians cite her as a major influence on their playing and she has been described as one of the finest exponents of traditional fiddle playing of our time.
When not touring with Dermot Byrne, Bríd works from home as a music teacher. She will also tour Germany in October and November with Donegal-based aerial (circus) performance company, Fidget Feet.
Tomorrow night’s concert starts at 8:30 pm in The Balor. Tickets can be booked online at www.balorartscentre.com, by calling the Balor Box Office on 074 91 31840 or you can just pay at the door.