Martin Hayes

Genres: World
Decades: 1990s 2000s


County Clare, Eire. One of a generation of new Irish folk fiddlers to achieve international recognition in the 90s, Hayes has struck up a profitable partnership with Chicago, Illinois, USA guitarist Dennis Cahill. Previously Hayes had grown up in Clare and worked with his father’s group, PJ’s Tulla Ceili Band. He moved to America to find work, enrolling on a college course in business but returning to music after several financial ventures failed. He turned to playing Irish music for weddings and functions, but found this format restricting. He first met Cahill in Chicago in the mid-80s when both were living within a few yards of each other. When tentative promises to work together were realised, they formed the electric folk band Midnight Court (‘a kind of Moving Hearts on steroids’, recalled Hayes). However, neither he and Cahill found that the band allowed them an adequate creative platform, and Midnight Court broke up in 1991. Hayes then...

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by Martin Hayes