Joe Giltrap

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Irish singer and songwriter fronted several bands before embarking on a celebrated solo career and forming his own label.
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b. 4 July 1943, Leixlip, County Kildare, Eire. Before taking up music in 1966, singer Giltrap had been a keen soccer and Gaelic footballer. He started singing with a local group, the Rye Folk, before joining top recording folk band the Broadsiders. He then left them to join a new country band, the Cotton Mill Boys, for a brief period in 1969, before re-joining the Broadsiders. By 1972 all the chopping and changing had become an irritant, and Giltrap went solo. As Jason Cord he recorded a single, ‘Keeps Right On A Hurtin’’, for Polydor Records, moving to London later the same year. Eschewing music for a year, he formed the duo Irish Mist in 1973, along with fiddle player Malcolm Rogers. The combination of Southern Irish Catholic and Northern Irish Protestant sharing a common love of folk music was noted by Rob Dickens at Warner Brothers Records, who signed the duo, producing their first album in 1974. Owing to the prevailing political climate at the time, it was not released by Warner Brothers. Instead, Giltrap and Rogers released Rosin The Bow independently on SRT. This album is now a collector’s item. The duo split in the late 70s, with Giltrap forming his own group, Zozimus (named after an old Dublin street singer), in 1977. They made only two albums before Irish Mist re-formed in 1980. The two toured Britain and Europe, appearing on radio and television in a number of countries. In 1984 Irish Mist recorded two tracks for the Ronco label Irish compilation, Green Velvet. The album reached number 6 in the UK charts, and made the Top 10 again, a year later, on re-release. This earned the duo a gold disc. The follow-up, More Green Velvet, for which the duo recorded one track, earned a silver disc. After a number of recordings either as Irish Mist or in a solo capacity, Giltrap took over the running of the now prestigious London music venue, The Weavers, in 1987. After spending a good deal of time promoting live acoustic music in London, Giltrap, who had put his own career on hold, felt the urge to record and perform again. Recording as either the Joe Giltrap Band or as a duo with Joe Palmer, the live work culminated in his first solo release for many years. In 1993 Where There’s Life was released. Apart from his own guitar, banjo, bodhran and vocal work, Giltrap recruited a number of guest musicians for the album. In 2004 Giltrap was awarded a Lifetime Achievement for Services To Irish Music from The Irish World newspaper.