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Robbie McGowran – Irish tin whistle maestro

Robbie MacGowran is an Irish musician who’s been playing tin whistle at sessions across Ireland for more than 30 years.

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He started out in Galway in the 1980s with a band called Coolin Off and counts Planxty, The Bothy Band, the original De Dannan, and Noel Hill among others as his major influences.

Robbie McGowran, Irish musician -tin whistle maestro

Robbie MacGowran

He enjoys Irish music because it can create such a social event. He has made several friends during sessions and says they enjoy learning tunes from each other and having the odd pint.

He plays traditional Irish music, putting a lot of emphasis on rhythm. He plays in a way that makes the beat stand out because he feels that is important as the music is primarily dance music.

He plays at a moderate pace to keep the melody clear and sweet, although he ups the pace when playing live for dancing as most dancers prefer a lively tempo.

MacGowran’s Road Map of Ireland

In 1981, he recorded an album, Road Map of Ireland, with Outlet Records, Belfast. Although Outlet are no longer in business, MacGowran has the album on vinyl and is in the process of converting it to CD and making it available again.

He says: “People have asked me what was the first tune I ever learned and it was in fact ‘Tabhair dom do lamh’ (Give me your hand), which I had heard on the ‘black’ Planxty album in 1973.

“Well, a long time has passed since then and I am still playing away. Hope you like my music and thanks for listening.”

MacGowram also has a CD called, Basically. Enjoy his video.


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