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.
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
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".
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.
Though Liam lived
in the U.S. and Canada for a long time, he has been living in Co.
Waterford, Ireland for several years.
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.
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.
The group does
still perform at times, and they recently completed a summer tour.
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.