Once Upon a Piper’s Time
by Joe Barry
In this new biography, Joe Barry reflects on his musical life, playing both uilleann and highland pipes. The book opens with memories of his early life in Templemore and his first experiences of traditional music.
Joe details the 1956 visit of his mother’s first cousin Bill Crowe from Australia. Bill arrived in Ireland with his fiddle and an Egan set of pipes that had belonged to John Coughlan. Bill’s visit provided Joe with his first opportunity to try the uilleann pipes and ignited a lifelong interest. Joe goes on to detail his early experiences of learning the pipes and the relationship his family developed with Dan O’Dowd. The book also recalls many of Joe’s musical experiences at events around the country over the years.
For over thirty years, along with Brendan Collins, Joe has organised the Templemore Tionól and the book contains many reflections on the pipers and musicians who have participated in the Tionól over the years.
Much of the book is also dedicated to the fifty-six years that Joe has spent with the Thomas McDonagh Pipe Band as a piper and as Pipe Major.
The book also includes a song “The Quintinshill Rail Disaster”, one of a number of songs Joe has written.
Proceeds of the book will go to Lough Derg RNLI.