Moira Nelligan and the Dixie Jigs
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Moira Nelligan and the Dixie Jigs

Decatur, Georgia, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2011

Decatur, Georgia, United States
Established on Jan, 2011
Band Americana Celtic

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Music

Press


""A Celtic Night of Fun at St. Paul's Episcopal""

'An enthralling evening of Irish and Appalachian tunes" - Savannah Morning News


""A Celtic Night of Fun at St. Paul's Episcopal""

'An enthralling evening of Irish and Appalachian tunes" - Savannah Morning News


"Sing Out Magazine"

Sing Out! The Folk Song Magazine, Winter, 2006 by Mary DesRosiers
MOIRA NELLIGAN I Give You Music
Moira Nelligan, despite her heritage, came late to a love of Irish music, which she first encountered as a young adult on a trip to the West Country of Ireland. She's certainly made up for lost time, as this debut CD shows. Nelligan plays fiddle in the style of her heroes: Liz Carroll, Eileen Ivers and Kevin Burke; and she is largely self-taught, relying on recordings, festival classes and sessions to hone her skills. The result is a sound which is Irish to the core, but marked with her own creativity and traces of her Georgia roots. She's joined on I Give You Music by her husband, Michael Hickey on bodhran, and producer Michael Robbins on guitar, banjo, bouzouki and bass. Robbins' choices for accompaniment (or lack thereof) are perfect for Nelligan's style: letting her fiddle and voice do their solo magic on "Johnny Shoemaker," and bringing in John Maschinot on uileann pipes for Maurice's Lennon's gorgeous waltz "If Ever You Were Mine." One of my favorite tracks is her spirited arrangement of Dolly Parton's "Jolene," which lends itself surprisingly well to being "Irished up"--with help from the Buddy Reilly band. Think Planxty meets Nashville! Nelligan's sweet alto is easy on the ears: she brings just the right party ambience to the standard "Tell My Ma," and a haunting ache to the one song she sings in Irish Gaelic, the lullaby "Einini." This is a well-rounded and brilliantly played debut: here's hoping Nelligan can take some time from teaching and raising her kids to give us another soon.


- Mary DesRosiers


"Rambles"

““I Give You Music” is currently in heavy rotation in my cd player and will probably remain there for quite a while. It can easily occupy a similar place in any collection that values earnest music, well made. I look forward to hearing another release at some point in the future.” Frank Blair, Rambles

- Frank Blair


"Dirty Linen"

excerpts from "Reel World"
“One of the vital signs of a living musical tradition is a steady stream of interesting new performers who perpetuate and reinvent it… Irish music with a Southern flavor is a specialty of fiddler, singer and accordionist Moira Nelligan, a Georgia native whose cd, “I Give You Music” includes a mix of upbeat jigs, reels and slides, as well as old and new songs from both sides of the Atlantic…delightful” - Tom Nelligan (no relation)


"Rambles"

““I Give You Music” is currently in heavy rotation in my cd player and will probably remain there for quite a while. It can easily occupy a similar place in any collection that values earnest music, well made. I look forward to hearing another release at some point in the future.” Frank Blair, Rambles

- Frank Blair


"Creative Loafing, Atlanta"

“Angel-voiced”

- Creative Loafing


"Sing Out Magazine"

Sing Out! The Folk Song Magazine, Winter, 2006 by Mary DesRosiers
MOIRA NELLIGAN I Give You Music
Moira Nelligan, despite her heritage, came late to a love of Irish music, which she first encountered as a young adult on a trip to the West Country of Ireland. She's certainly made up for lost time, as this debut CD shows. Nelligan plays fiddle in the style of her heroes: Liz Carroll, Eileen Ivers and Kevin Burke; and she is largely self-taught, relying on recordings, festival classes and sessions to hone her skills. The result is a sound which is Irish to the core, but marked with her own creativity and traces of her Georgia roots. She's joined on I Give You Music by her husband, Michael Hickey on bodhran, and producer Michael Robbins on guitar, banjo, bouzouki and bass. Robbins' choices for accompaniment (or lack thereof) are perfect for Nelligan's style: letting her fiddle and voice do their solo magic on "Johnny Shoemaker," and bringing in John Maschinot on uileann pipes for Maurice's Lennon's gorgeous waltz "If Ever You Were Mine." One of my favorite tracks is her spirited arrangement of Dolly Parton's "Jolene," which lends itself surprisingly well to being "Irished up"--with help from the Buddy Reilly band. Think Planxty meets Nashville! Nelligan's sweet alto is easy on the ears: she brings just the right party ambience to the standard "Tell My Ma," and a haunting ache to the one song she sings in Irish Gaelic, the lullaby "Einini." This is a well-rounded and brilliantly played debut: here's hoping Nelligan can take some time from teaching and raising her kids to give us another soon.


- Mary DesRosiers


"Greenman Review"

excerpts:
“Her fiddle playing is spirited and lively…a style of singing similar to Alison Krauss and Dolly Parton with a touch of Emmylou Harris on American material but she can also handle English and Irish songs with equal weight and measure…A voice full of sweetness and emotional depth.” John Regan, Greenman Review

full article:
Moira Nelligan comes from Savannah, Georgia, in the American Deep South. Growing up of Irish parents, she studied violin and piano in childhood but discovered traditional music through a visit to the West of Ireland, and the rest is history. Returning home, she sought out players, tunes, and mixed with luminaries like Kevin Burke, Liz Carroll and Eileen Ivers, as well as learning Cajun tunes from Dewey Balfa and Quebecois tunes from Lisa Ornstein. Playing in the Georgia club, festival and bar scene, she has made a name for herself. Now she finally releases her debut album, I Give You Music.
The similarities between her and Nollaig Casey are obvious: both singers and fiddlers, receiving early classical training before going for traditional music and making their marks there. However, Moira Nelligan has taken other stuff with her too, including a very American roots style of singing in the bluegrass "high lonesome" mode similar to Alison Krauss and Dolly Parton with a little Emmylou Harris for good measure. This comes over very effectively on American material such as the hymn-like title track and Parton's 'Jolene', but she can also handle English songs like 'The Gypsy Wedding Day' and Irish songs like 'Johnny Shoemaker' with equal weight and measure. The main thing is that her singing does not sound forced or unnatural. It is a steady, flowing voice full of sweetness and emotional depth.
Her fiddle playing is spirited and lively, again without the stiffness of many classical players who try to handle traditional music. The instrumental tracks are rendered solo with a string accompaniment whether guitar or bouzouki or in a full session style with uilleann pipes, mandolin and bodhrn. The most important thing is that they sound natural. It is clear that Moira Nelligan loves her music. She loves playing it and has no qualms about that either. That love and passion for music and her respectful attitude for songs and their narrative strength makes this album so special.
So, there are two singing fiddlers from different places, and each making personal statements of their love for traditional music. As long as statements like these two albums get onto CD, the future of music is certain.
- John O'Regan


Discography

Moira Nelligan
I Give You Music 2005 (solo)
Christmas Folksongs 2009 (solo)
The Living Room Tapes 1990 (The Buddy O'Reilly Band)

George Norman:
Lazik 2009 (Lazik)
Join the Dots 2006 (the Polska Dots)
On Board the Armenia 2001 (Calliope Fair)
Under the Table 1995 (The Buddy O'Reilly Band)
Round the House 1994 (The Buddy O'Reilly Band)

Photos

Bio

Biography
MOIRA NELLIGAN

Georgia born and Irish descended, fiddler/singer Moira Nelligan plays roots music that will make you sing, dance, laugh and cry! "Irish to the core, but marked with her own creativity and Georgia roots"- that's how "Sing Out!" magazine describes Moira's unique brand of Celtic/Americana music. Whether it's an Irish jig on the fiddle, Georgia Sea Island folksong, or gypsy accordion tune, Moira and her band "The Dixie Jigs" celebrate their own personal cultural heritage music and original compositions while enjoying  musical excursions to the Middle East, Eastern Europe and beyond - anywhere they find themselves captivated by beautiful folk music.

Moira's first CD "I Give You Music" was received enthusiastically by reviewers of national and international folk music publications. "Sing Out!" magazine hailed it as a "brilliantly played debut". Ireland's Frank Blair of Greenman Review describes "a voice full of sweetness and emotional depth"; "delightful" (Dirty Linen) and "angel voiced", (Creative Loafing).

Her "Christmas Folksongs" CD reflects her passion for holiday music from the British Isles and all over the world. Moira produces three annual Christmas music and dance events : "Savannah Celtic Christmas Concert" as well as the "Little Christmas" children's concert, featuring her band "the Dixie Jigs" with championship Irish dancer Jacquie Berger. Moira Nelligan and her band members are veteran performers of the long running Atlanta Celtic Christmas Concert, which premiered on GPTV last December and was awarded the 2012 Southeast Emmy Award for Outstanding Achievement in Arts and Entertainment.

Originally from Savannah and now residing in Decatur, GA, Moira has been twice awarded the Georgia Council of the Arts Folklife Grant for Irish Fiddle. The GCA has also included Moira on their distinguished Touring Artist Roster.

Some of the finest roots music venues in the South have been host to Moira and her colleagues, including the John C. Campbell Folk Music School in Brasstown NC, the Atlanta Celtic Festival, The North Georgia Folk Music Festival, the Juggling Gypsy in Wilmington NC, Eddies Attic in Decatur GA, Local Color Cafe in Birmingham AL, the Crimson Moon in Dahlonega GA, the Sentient Bean in Savannah, GA, the Gaylord Texan in Dallas TX, and the Hamner Theater in Afton, VA and Steve's Live Music in Roswell, GA, Spivey Hall, Morrow, GA, and Big Tex Decatur, where audiences enjoy "Tuesdays with Moira" every week as she hosts her weekly family roots music event.

Moira has a passion for teaching the music she loves to play. The "Nelligan School of Traditional Music" in Decatur, GA offers lessons for all ages on almost any folk music instrument.

THE DIXIE JIGS

What do you call a band whose members were brought together by a love of irish songs, jigs and reels, but who also love and play the music of their southern homeland?
..........THE DIXIE JIGS............of course!

GEORGE NORMAN, genre exploring mandolinist extraordinaire, grew up on bluegrass in the ATL and lived in Ireland for a few years, playing Irish music in trad sessions almost nightly. He was also in an acclaimed world music band, "Lazik", based in Cork, Ireland, who had the honor of performing with the Irish trad/Eastern European crossover luminaire Andy Irvine. With Lazik, George performed tangos, polskas, musettes, balkan, and klezmer tunes at many festivals and clubs in Ireland. After touring and recording with Lazik, George brought many of those tunes back home to Georgia, and leads the Dixie Jigs from their Irish American roots on musical excursions to Eastern Europe and South America, hence the D.J. repertoire description......
"Irish, Americana, and Worldbilly".

MICKEY NELLIGAN. Since his first Irish music gig 6 years ago with Mother Moira at age 15 on St. Pat's Day in Savannah, Mickey has brought his outstanding Irish guitar lead and accompaniment, as well as championship fiddling and blues harmonica to performances across the South East. When not playing with the Dixie Jigs, Mickey shares fiddle, banjo and guitar duties with his brothers in their old time Georgia stringband "The Stone Mountain Wobblers". They celebrated the release of their first CD at the Brooklyn Folk Festival in April and have been guests on Art Rosenbaum's "Backroads and Banjos" acclaimed radio show. As one of the young, passionate contributors to the resurgence of the Old Time Music scene in the South, Mickey took the blue ribbon in the 2013 Great Southern Old Time Fiddle Championship in Chattanooga, Tennessee playing "Hell Broke Loose in Georgia",