July 11, 2009
Roger Sherlock was born in 1932 in Cloonfeightrin, Co. Mayo, near Gurteen on the Sligo border. The area around Gurteen was renowned for music and he started quite young on the tin whistle. He learned from local musicians such as fiddle players John Henry, Pack Spellman, Pat Kelleher and especially the flute player Paddy 'Jim Frank' Hunt, before emigrating to London in 1953.
London in the 1950s and 60s was a vital venue for Irish-music-in-exile, playing host to musicians such as Michael Gorman and Margaret Barry, Bobby Casey, Jimmy Power, Willie Clancy, Lucy Farr, Julia Clifford and Paddy Taylor and many more.
Roger became very much a central and respected figure of this scene, playing an active role in sessions and performing at many of the Irish dance halls in London with various music groupings.
He played with the Dungloe, Hibernian and Thatch Ceili Bands and also played frequently in The Hibernian on Fulham Broadway throughout the ’70s with Jimmy Sullivan, the Tipperary box player, or in The Favourite Bar or White Hart with Raymond Roland, Vincent Griffin, Sean McGuire, Liam Farrell and Brendan McGlinchey.
He recorded with Kit O'Connor for Radio Eireann’s Job Of Journeywork, introducing his timeless style to many listeners back home. He made two classic recordings with Sean McGuire and Josephine Keegan — the first LP in 1969 and the second, entitled At Their Best, in 1971.
This was followed by another LP with Mary Conroy in 1978 entitled Memories Of Sligo on the Inchcronin label.
He was featured on the compilation CD and TV documentary Bringing It All Back Home, playing with Bobby Casey and John Bowe among others and in recent years was also the subject of a Se Mo Laoch documentary for TG4. He has been generous in his help for and encouragement of other musicians. He returned to Ireland in 1996 to live in Bettystown, Co. Meath. In April he received the prestigious TG4 Hall of Fame Award.
Memories of Sligo, Roger Sherlock and Mary Conroy, Incecronin, 1978
At Their Best, Sean Maguire, Roger Sherlock, Josephene Keegan.
The Very Best of Sean Maguire, Sean Maguire, Roger Sherlock, Josephene Keegan.