Frequently Asked Questions

What kind of guitar does Liam play?

What kind of concertina does Liam play?

What the hell is a concertina, and how is it played?

Does Liam live in the U.S. or Ireland?

When is Liam's birthday?

Is it true that Liam wrote an autobiographical book?

Does the group Clancy, O'Connell, & Clancy still perform together?

 

 

 


What kind of guitar does Liam play?

Throughout the years, Liam has been seen playing several guitars. During the Columbia years, Liam was often seen playing a beautiful Martin 000-18. During the Makem & Clancy Years, Liam played a number of dreadnaught size guitars made by Yamaha and Takemine. Currently, Liam is usually seen playing one of three Takemine guitars with onboard electronics.

What kind of concertina does Liam play?

For the past couple of decades, Liam has been playing a concertina which was made by him for the Crabbe company in the 1960's. It is a metal-ended English style concertina with 48 buttons. The black leather bellows has 7 folds.

What the hell is a concertina, and how is it played?

The concertina is a small reed instrument. The English style concertina was invented by Charles Wheatstone in the early 1800's. Most have 48 buttons, though some have 56 or more. When a button is pushed, a lever lifts a pad which covers a hole. When the hole is then opened and the bellows is expanded, air passes through the hole and into a small chamber containing two metal reeds. As the air moves to the other side of one reed and into the bellows, a sound is made. If the bellows is contracted while the hole is open, air passes out of the bellows and over the other reed, making a sound. The air passes though the chamber, through the hole, and out of the instrument. In an English concertina, the two reeds in the chamber are tuned the same, so the same note plays on the "push" and the "pull".

The Anglo-German style of concertina was invented later, and is very popular today, especially with Irish instrumental players. The Anglo is set up very differently, and a different note is sounded on the "push" and the "pull" (thus, each button can be used to play two notes). Though the Anglo enjoys great demand and popularity, very few people currently play the English concertina. There are also two other types of concertina, the klezmer and the duet. For more information on the concertina, please visit concertina.net.

Does Liam live in the U.S. or Ireland?

Though Liam lived in the U.S. and Canada for a long time, he has been living in Co. Waterford, Ireland for several years.

When is Liam's birthday?

If you happen to see Liam on August 4, you can say, "Happy Birthday" to him. He'd probably give you a funny look, though, because his birthday is actually on September 2.

Is it true that Liam wrote an autobiographical book?

Yes, Liam has written the first part of his autobiography. "The Mountain of the Women" was published in February, 2002. Liam is actively working on his second book.

Why did Clancy, O'Connell, & Clancy break up?

The group does still perform at times, and they recently completed a summer tour.

Their "final show" was March 17, 1999 at Mohegan Sun Casino. They said at the time that they might do a couple of festivals again at some point. At the time, Robbie O'Connell had this to say about the subject (from his website): "As many of you already know, I left the Clancy, O'Connell, & Clancy group at the end of March. It was a difficult decision to make as I always enjoyed Liam and Donál's company, both personally and musically, but the time had come to move in a different direction. It became impossible to maintain the creative energy that fuels every group with Liam in Ireland, Donál in New York, and while I am in Massachusetts."

The three later appeared, along with other Clancys, at the Milwaukee Irish Festival in August, 2000. The trio has appeared several times since then,and Liam has also appeared with Robbie O'Connell (sans Donál) recently. Liam and Robbie began playing as a duo apart from "The Clancy Bros. & Robbie O'Connell" in 1996.

 

Liam Clancy strikes a pose.

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