Joe Reavy is the son of famous Irish traditional composer Ed Reavy, who was born in 1898, and passed away in 1988. This is a link to a poem written in his memory. Ed Reavy was responsible for many tunes typically played and recorded in Irish circles, and was honored by the Philadelphia Folksong Society. Early in 2000 he was inducted into the Irish Traditional Hall of Fame in Mineola, NY.
Born in 1927, Joe has lived near Philadelphia all his life. He was a teacher and guidance director at Cheltenham High School for many years until his retirement in 1995. He also taught Irish traditional music in the Philadelphia suburbs in the late 70's and throughout the 80's.
In 1969 Joe published a book of Ed Reavy's tunes entitled "Where the Shannon Rises" (which has gone out of print). In 1978 he published "The Collected Compositions of Ed Reavy" (with cassette tapes) and a separate cassette of tunes Ed liked to play called "The Music of Corktown". Both of these collections can be purchased from the Ed Reavy Non-profit Foundation, 2004 Aspen Circle, Springfield, PA 19064, (610) 543-3295.
Joe's current CD, "Reavy", was produced over a period of two years, with the help of his nephew Brian Delaney. Something of a departure from typical Irish traditional music, it includes a number of Irish poems set to music, as well as some unusual arrangements and instruments on the instrumental tracks.-- the Webmaster
From the CD liner notes:
Being the son of a legend had its advantages. His genius attracted to our home the best of immigrant talent. Dad was fond of aphorisms that he often used as stimulants to thought: "The history of Ireland's a fiddle", he would go on; then proceed to spin the most engaging homespun accounts of how certain tunes gained special access to the hidden Ireland and its mystic past.About Brian Delaney:
He spoke often of the "lone bush" that grew outside his cottage. "It flourished while all around it perished." That to him was a life-sustaining thought. He would go on to say that traditional music too is a lone bush, one that will survive as well when other more trumpeted musics disappear around us.
A brilliant keyboard musician out of West Chester University, Brian plays professionally in the Philadelphia area. The quality of this CD is due in large part to his keen understanding of Irish-style rhythms and sensitive ballad cadences.