A question of taste: Cathy Jordan

CATHY JORDAN is from Scramogue, Co Roscommon, and is the youngest of seven children. She has played with Dervish for over 20 years, and will take to the stage tonight with the band at The Pav as part of the Cork Folk Festival.

Best recent book:

Wayfaring Strangers, which explores the historic ties between Scotland, Ireland and Appalachia through music and song. Fascinating read written and researched by Fiona Ritchie and Doug Orr with foreword by Dolly Parton.

Best recent show/gig you’ve seen:

Cerys Matthews in London. Amazing gig, I love her presence and how she can glide between old Welsh folk songs and her own new compositions.

What formats do you use to access music?

Being in the music business I get given loads of CDs and I buy quiet a few at festivals. Also late night radio is a great way to hear new music. As a musician, Spotify is just shooting yourself in the foot.

Best piece of music you’ve been listening to lately:

I’ve been listening to Planxty, it just never seems to age. ‘The Rambling Suiler’... what a song, what an arrangement.

First ever piece of music or art that really moved you:

When I was 12 my sister Marie brought me to see Dé Dannan in Kedue, Co Roscommon, when Dolores Keane was singing with them, I was absolutely blown away and decided there and then that I wanted to be a singer in a band.

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The best gig or show you’ve ever seen:

Guy Clarke at the Longford banjo festival about six years ago. I cried and laughed and cried some more. Brilliant songs, he has a way of bringing you to a moment in time and showing it to you so clearly.

Tell us about your TV viewing:

I do like the telly and numbing out watching a cop show or something although lately I’m more into books. I used to waste a lot of time watching the soaps but then I joined a gym with tellies attached to the treadmills to lessen the guilt.

Radio listening:

In the morning I love talk shows like Pat Kenny, and I also love Moncrieff in the afternoon, he’s great craic, but at night I love the music shows, especially when I’m driving. John Creedon, Carl Corcoran, Ellen Cranitch, Niall Toner.

Best recent holiday:

I recently went to see my brother in Seattle and he showed me a wonderful time with parties, dinners, shows, sightseeing and amazing fun. Seattle is one of my favourite cities in the world.

Your best celebrity encounter:

Well this is embarrassing. I met my hero Paul Brady many years ago for the first time at a festival in Denmark, ended up singing ‘Mary and The Gallant Soldier’ with him and all was going amazingly until my pint slipped from my grasp and landed all over his crotch before the last verse!

Most expensive item of clothing you’ve ever bought — what was it and how much:

I don’t usually buy expensive clothes but when I made an exception when receiving the freedom of the city of Sligo and I went to Brown Thomas and bought myself a Ghost dress for €500. I still get wear out of it so that makes it well worth it.

Tech habits:

I’m not very tech savvy but I use an AKG drum mic for the bodhrán, a pog for the bouzouki and seinnheiser in-ear monitors. Favourite app is tune pal and genius scan.

Unsung hero? Individual or group you think don’t get the praise they deserve:

Tidy towns all over the country, cleaning up other people’s mess for the greater good.

You are queen for a day — what’s your first decree?

Every Monday should be a day of rest.


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