LHI Live: Daymark Explores Irish Traditions

Jan 18, 2019

Daymark: Dan Foster, Will Woodson, and Eric McDonald
Credit C. Lieurance

The band Daymark - fiddler Dan Foster, flutist/uillean piper Will Woodson, and singer/guitarist Eric McDonald - are an Irish trio with no Irish-born members. But they've spent years immersed in the Irish traditional music community, and are welcomed far and wide as expert practitioners.

In the studio with Cara Lieurance, Will Woodson says he began playing tin whistle when he was around 9 or 10 years old, and developed his "northern" style of playing while living in Glasgow, Scotland. Fiddler Dan Foster was classically trained from a young age in York, England, and was fortunate to find a group of top-notch Irish musicians in Manchester, who passed on their love for the music. Eric McDonald met Woodson when they both lived in Portland, ME, a hub of Irish sessions. They began playing with Foster around 2016, and Daymark was formed.

"Celtic" music is a useful marketing term but a fairly meaningless music term, according to Woodson. The members of Daymark enjoy exploring the sub-categories of Irish traditional music, like the Scottish-influenced playing of Cape Breton, or the Irish-American recordings by Michael Coleman and others in the 1920s and 30s. Their selections, played live in the Takeda studio at WMUK, include a set of highlands and reels, the song "The King's Shilling," a set of slip jigs and jigs featuring "Doodley Doodley Dank," and a reel set starting with "The Black Haired Lass." Daymark plans to release a full-length debut album in 2018.


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