Cherish The Ladies Returns To Kansas

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Monday December 17, 2018

From Wichita 89.1 KMUW

Cherish The Ladies Returns To Kansas For A Celtic Christmas
By: Jedd Beaudoin

Veteran Celtic music act Cherish The Ladies brings its Christmas show to Wichita’s Orpheum Theatre Sunday, Dec. 16. The group has recorded three holiday LPs to date, the latest being Christmas In Ireland. The evening features traditional Christmas songs such as “Silent Night” and “O Come All Ye Faithful” in unique arrangements.

The band has also recently issued the album Heart of the Home, its 17th overall album. Additionally, founding member Joanie Madden recently received the Eugene O’Neill Lifetime Achievement Award, joining the ranks of Malachy McCourt, Pete Hamill, John Patrick Shanley, Judy Collins and Brian Dennehy, all of whom have had the award bestowed upon them in the past.

Madden recently spoke with KMUW about the band’s origins and its current run of Christmas shows, including this rare Midwestern appearance.

Can you tell me a little bit about how Cherish The Ladies came into being and how it grew from there?

It started with a concert series. Myself, Eileen Ivers and a whole bunch of us went to Ireland one year for [the All-Ireland music] competition and I got very lucky. I won three gold medals at the world championship, Eileen Ivers won for the fiddle, there were a few others, but it was all women that won. [Musician] Mick Moloney called me up to congratulate me and pointed that out. We didn’t even realize it. We were just so happy, as Irish Americans, to bring gold medals home with us. Mick said he wanted to do a concert to celebrate this amazing phenomenon. For so many centuries it was the men that were playing the music. He thought we should do a concert to celebrate the fact that there were so many women doing outstanding things.

I suggested that we use the name Cherish The Ladies because it’s the name of an Irish jig. The three concerts we did [in 1985] were all sold out. We went on to record an album. That was chosen by the Library of Congress as one of the best folk albums of the year. We received a grant from the National Endowment for The Arts to do a two-week tour. That two-week tour now, on January 5, will be 34 years! [Laughs.] I’m just a girl from the Bronx.

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