Despite the fact that he spent all his life around his native area on
the banks of Lower Lough Erne, the Fermanagh fiddler Mick Hoy had by
the 1980s become a major influence internationally in the field of Irish
music. His distinctly regional repertoire and style reached a worldwide
audience as he passed his music on to players like Cathal McConnell,
Altan, Seamus Quinn, Ben Lennon, Jim McGrath and many more.
One of the finest fiddlers of his generation, his powerful style was
a fascinating blend of Northern and Southern elements. He had a unique
stock of local tunes, many of which he got from his old friend, the
great flute player Eddie Duffy,who died in 1986. He was also a fine
singer, storyteller, wit and authority on the traditions of his area.
His singing style was subtle with a beautiful use of glottal stops and
ingenious variation in phrasing. He was renowned for his slow airs on
the fiddle,which he accomplished by playing in exactly the same style
as he sang, with memorable effect.
Many of his songs and tunes came from his mother who played the accordeon.
In his youth he was hired at the fair of Derrygonnelly to a farmer who
was a fiddler with the understanding that, as part of his contract,
he would be taught the instrument. He played in the 1930s and 1940s
with local céilí bands The Silees and The Knockmore. Mick
Hoy died on June 12, 2000. ©Copyright
Sean Corcoran, 2000.
On the record
Mick Hoy's music, singing and storytelling can be heard on the cassette
and booklet pack Here Is a Health (Arts Council of Northern Ireland,
1986) edited by Seán Corcoran from his own collection. It's available
. The text of the booklet is available online on the Musical