THE larger than life musical genius that is Séamus Begley will be the subject of what promises to be an enthralling documentary on his life on TG4 next weekend.
The programme, Sé Mo Laoch, will be screened at 9.30pm, and it will look at the life and career of the brilliant ccordion and singer from Baile na bPoc in west Kerry.
Begley has long been known for his electrically charged, boisterous box playing and his bawdy wit. As a young singer, skirting around the periphery of sean nós singing competitions, he was initially dismayed to be told that his voice was too sweet.
In his heart, he knew he wasn’t a sean nós singer and what he has is a weightless voice, capable of mining the depths of a song in much the same manner that he does a tune with his accordion playing.
By the age of 14, he was playing accordion at local dances and in 1972 he recorded his first album, An Ciarraíoch Mallaithe, with his sister, Máire Begley. He is an eager storyteller known for his sharp wit, famous for pumping out music for dancers with an energy that is sometimes alarming.
He has toured extensively with performers such as Steve Cooney, Téada and Mary Black and he was awarded the TG4 Amhranaí na Bliana/Singer of the Year in 2013, in recognition of his major contribution to Irish traditional singing.
The documentary spends time with Séamus on his farm in west Kerry and it gains an insight into his philosophy, musical and otherwise. It sees him perform in Dingle and with his family; brother Breanndán Ó Beaglaoich, daughter Méabh, sons Eoin and Niall and his musical friends such as Steve Cooney, Muireann Nic Amhlaoibh, Donogh Hennessy, Joe Fitzgerald and Laurence Courtney and Óisín Mac Diarmada.
The documentary will be available worldwide on the TG4 player – www.tg4.ie.
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