The weekend is upon us and the chaos of Fleadh Cheoil continues. We hope you are enjoying our Facebook videos giving you a taste of what’s going on around Ennis. Today is Friday and in Ennis this means that the renound session Piping Hevin Piping Hell will take place in Dan O’Connells from 4:30PM. So, it’s apt that as we are in Ennis for the Fleadh this week, we feature the leader of this session who is none other than Blackie O’Connell. Blackie is one of Ireland’s unique pipers who has developed a style all his own. If you haven’t heard Blackie play then I suggest you do. I promise you will not be disappointed. Blackie who comes from county Clare plays regularly at sessions around Clare and the rest of the country. He has recorded albums with bouzouki player and singer Cyril O’Donoghue their Studio album Friars Green is full of energy and skill and shows both Blackie and Cyril in their respective fields as well as playing seamlessly together. Blackie has also recorded a live album entitled Foolin’ in Doolin in a local pub called McDermott’s in 2008 with musician Karol Lynch.
Being a piper with a unique style Blackie is also a very unique person. He may be known to us all as Blackie but his name is Michael. Another interesting fact about Blackie is that he featured on the Clare tourist board. His face and hair is there for everyone to see on the way into Claire.
The next paragraph is not true but it’s a great joke.
He was scouted to appear on the L’Oréal Billboard. One of the company’s executives spotted him on a tourism board outside Shannon Airport and later in Doolin and knew he wanted blackie to appear on the L’Oréal billboard, and all because his fantastic long hair was blowing in the wind while he was playing. In true Blackie fashion when asked about the experience he said “why did they ask me? Because I’m worth it.”
Or so they said on the Satire news site The Drone news.
Blackie’s energetic personality comes through in his playing and when you hear him play you will see his famous L’Oréal hair!
Instead of giving you a video today, we recommend that you drop into Dan O’Connells pub at 4:30 to catch this session for yourself. We were going to broadcast this live but we’ve decided to cancel this as nothing really captures the environment of a live session. Not even the highest quality recording equipment. You need to be there to really appreciate the music.