Belfast Telegraph

Omagh-born Van Morrison guitarist Arty McGlynn passes away

Arty McGlynn and wife Nollaig Casey
Arty McGlynn and wife Nollaig Casey

Pioneering Omagh guitarist Arty McGlynn has passed away at the age of 75.

During a long career he became well-known for his original guitar work and collaborating with artists like Van Morrison, Enya, Planxty, Four Men and a Dog and wife, fiddle player Nollaig Casey.

McGlynn played guitar on Van's critically acclaimed and commercially successful 1989 album 'Avalon Sunset'.

He also played on 1983's 'Inarticulate Speech of the Heart' and 1995's 'Days Like This'.

McGlynn was born into a musical family in Omagh in 1944 and quickly became involved in performing.

After initially learning the accordion he was gifted a guitar by his mother at the age of eleven.

He was playing professionally with bands by his mid teens and eventually went on the road touring with various musicians in the 1960s and 70s.

McGlynn was also in demand as a session musician for recordings with various artists.

His 1979 album 'McGlynn's Fancy' is widely credited with bringing the guitar into the mainstream of Irish traditional music.

It led to greater prominence on the Irish musical scene and McGlynn became in-demand among traditional and folk musicians.

Arty McGlynn
Arty McGlynn

He also worked with names like Christy Moore, Frances Black, Paul Brady and John Carty.

McGlynn's collaboration with wife Nollaig led to two well-received albums 'Lead the Knave' and 'Causeway' and their music was featured on the soundtracks for films 'Moondance' and 'Hear My Song'.

In the wake of the 1998 Omagh bombing McGlynn was one of a number of local artists to perform at a concert to raise funds for the victims.

He was awarded a lifetime achievement awarded for his contributions to music by Irish language channel TG4 in 2016.

McGlynn is survived by wife Nollaig, two daughters and three sons.

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