Séamus Begley is an accomplished accordionist, singer and storyteller. He started playing accordion at local dances at the tender age of 14. In 1972 he recorded his first album, An Ciarraíoch Mallaithe with his sister Máire. They made a second album, Planxtaí Bhaile na bPoc for Gael Linn in 1989, with Séamus on accordion, Máire on piano and piano-accordion and both of them singing and introducing the legendary Australian guitarist Steve Cooney.
Well known for his work with Steve, the duo played polkas and slides from the West Kerry tradition, recording Meitheal together in 1996. Séamus also sings a number of songs in Irish, in a traditional, laid-back style. These include Máirín de Barra, Bruach na Carraige Báine and Beir Mo Dhúthracht.
Following on from the Begley and Cooney release, Séamus recorded Ragairne, a CD with guitarist Jim Murray. This was voted 2001 Traditional Album of the Year in both Hot Press and The Irish Times. Mary Black also guested on this album where she sings a duet, An Ciarraíoch Mallaithe with Séamus. Murray and Begley recorded a second album in 2009 entitled Éirí Go Lá which features the beautiful song Máire Bhán Óig.
Also, Séamus is a renowned singer with a large repertoire of songs in both English and Irish. A member of the famous musical family from Baile na bPoc near Baile na nGall (Ballydavid), he has being performing regularly over decades, bringing the singing of his native west Kerry to wider audiences.
Séamus has successfully toured all over the world with many different musicians including guitarists Jim Murray, Jon Sanders and Tim Edey. He recorded Disgrace Notes with Tim Edey and his singing can also be heard on the recent Béal Tuinne in the company of a host of other West Kerry singers.
He has of late teamed up with Téada fiddler Oisín Mac Diarmada and they made a recording Le Chéile released in 2012, which as always includes a number of songs sensitively sung and full of tradition as well as great energetic box playing from Séamus. This CD also features songs that Séamus has not previously recorded, such as the 1798-themed An tSeanbhean Bhocht, Eibhlín a Rúin and the English song The Banks of the Bann. Méabh Ní Bheaglaoich, Séamus’ daughter, guests as a backing vocalist on some of the songs, continuing the family tradition.
Instructor – Button Accordion