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date: 11 July 2020

Rafferty, Mike locked

  • S. Timothy Maloney


(b Larraga, East Galway, Ireland, Sept 27, 1926; d Hasbrouck Heights, NJ, Sept 13, 2011). Irish flute, tin whistle, and uilleann pipes player. A leading exponent of the East Galway lyrical style, he learned flute and pipes from his father Tom (“Barrel”), local flutists Jack Coughlan and Tom Broderick, and radio broadcasts and recordings of flutists Stephen Moloney and Tommy Whelan of the Ballinakill Céilí Band. He began playing at house parties and dance halls as a youth, and by his late teens was a member of the Ballinakill Traditional Dance Players and the Killimor Céilí Band.

Rafferty immigrated in 1949 to the United States, where he worked in blue-collar jobs and played little music for a decade. In about 1959 he began playing again with other Irish expatriates and was invited to participate in the Smithsonian Institution’s Bicentennial Festival of American Folklife in 1976. Beginning in the late 1970s, he toured with the Green Fields of America, and his playing was included on two albums of field recordings, ...

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