To be regarded as a truly great traditional accordion player of individual style, grace and spirit, in a country which boasts of an excess of truly great and highly rated traditional musicians, is an accolade not to be taken lightly. Josephine Marsh is one such musician.
In the wake of her eponymously titled debut album in '96 (now Re-released on the Tara label), which received excellent reviews in such music magazines and national papers as Hot Press, The Irish Times, The Irish Echo (NY), Folk Roots(UK), Rock n' Reel (Scotland), The Irish Music Magazine, The Irish Voice (NY), Dirty Linen (USA), etc. Josephine's reputation as an accordion player and composer has carried her, and her band to perform at gigs and festivals in Europe, Australia, and the USA. On St. Patrick's Day she, along with her brother Pat and singer Niamh Parsons, played for President Bill Clinton, Bertie Ahearn and many other dignitaries at Capitol Hill. In 1997 her music was featured in a National Geographic film on the Famine. Josephine was also voted Best Rookie of the Year and also was one of the runners up for Best Female Traditional Performer by the Irish Music Magazine. She has a style all of her own making and with the help of the many television/radio stations playing her music, has built up a faithful, sizeable audience for her particular brand of music.
With her four-piece band, which includes the virtuoso mandolin/bouzouki player Declan Corey, Paul O Driscoll on double bass, and the latest addition to the group, guitarist/singer Tommy Carew, Josephine has successfully integrated her individual style and sound to an equally individual group sound and style.
RECORDINGS: To date Josephine has been involved in a number of recordings. These include the following:
(1990) - TO MEET A FRIEND Josephine Marsh/Cyril O Donoghue (accordion/bouzouki and vocals) own label. Produced by Josephine Marsh/Cyril O Donoghue
(1991) - THE HUMOURS OF CLARE various artists, i.e.; Sean Tyrrell, Martin Hayes, etc., - Clare FM label Produced by Aine Hennessey
(1994) - THE SANCTUARY SESSIUNS various artists, i.e.; Sean Tyrrell, Kevin Crawford, Shannon Family, etc., - Sanctuary Sessiuns label. Produced by PJ Curtis
(1997) KATE PURCELL A DREAM UNFOLDS Kate Purcell singer/songwriter Dream Records Produced by PJ Curtis
(1998) - LIVE IN PEPPERS various artists, i.e.; Martin O Connor, Tommy Peoples, etc., - Coolin Bridge label. Produced by Tommy Hayes
(1998) - THE DIMMING OF THE DAY Gerry Lynch (vocals) Dolphin Records. Produced by PJ Curtis.
(1998) - THE ORCHARD Sean Tyrrell (vocals) Longwalk Records Produced by Sean Tyrrell/Davy Spillane.
(1999) - TIM FLANNERY'S ALBUM (vocals,USA) Tim Flannery featuring Jackson Brown and Bruce Hornsby Whale Bone Records Produced by Matt Manning/PJ Curtis
MEDIA: Josephine has appeared on several television programmes in recent years. These include:
SULT a Hummingbird Production for both RTE 1 and Teilifis na Gaeilge, presented by Donal Lunny.
NATIONWIDE an RTE 1 production which also featured the music of the group De Dannan.
GANTRY shown on Teilifis na Gaeilge and RTE 1 and presented by Brendan Begley.
SIBIN also a Teilifis NA Gaeilge production that featured the band and on Christmas Eve 98 with Jerry Lynch.
THE PAT KENNY SHOW shown on RTE 1, featuring the singer/songwriter, Kate Purcell.
NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC has included The Shepherd from the Josephine Marsh album, in a film based on the Great Famine in Ireland, narrated by Gabriel Byrne. This film also included music from The Chieftains and Zan McCloud.
RADIO AIRPLAY Josephine's music has/is featured on a regular basis on local, national, and international radio stations such as Clare FM, RTE 1/RTE2, Lyric FM, BBC World Service, etc.
Airplay has also included live interviews on FolkScene (Los Angeles),
Sydney radio; Australia,
Breton Radio, France,
and the Kathleen Biggins Celtic radio show in New York.
CD REVIEWS AND OTHERS: Some CD reviewers have said:
"Compares with the best work of more publicly renowned names"
Bill Graham, Hot Press
A player of outstanding ability 'Nuala O Connor,
A phenomenal accordion player a mind blowing debut album
John O'Regan, Rock and Reel
Loose, free, spiritual, simple, light, joyous, flowing
Phil Gaston, folk Roots
One of the most deeply satisfying instrumental album made in recent years
Earle Hitchner, Irish Echo, New York
Marsh has a gift for composition. Every time I turn on the stereo lately, I find myself reaching for Josephine Marsh's self-titled record.
Don Meade, Irish Voice, New York
Excellent debut album, a gentle gem, full of life and humour
Alex Monaghan, Living Tradition
The lyric beauty she brings from the accordion is hair bristling stuff
National Folk Festival, Geelong, Australia
There's great respect in her music a wonderful accordion player
Phillip King, Hummingbird Records