Joe Ryan was born and reared in Inagh Co Clare and died in March 2008. Despite being steeped in the fiddle music of his native Co Clare, Joe spent much of his life in the Drogheda area, living with his brother Jim in Cooperhill, Julianstown on his return from working in England in 1962.
Joe left his native Clare in 1951 to seek work in Dublin and worked in the building trade until a bad economic slump in 1953 forced Joe and his fellow-tradesmen seek work in London.
Joe’s three major recordings are
Joe Ryan (fiddle) and Eddie Clarke (harmonica) ; Crossroads : 1981 . This is a magnificent recording of two great musicians at the height of their powers. Their duets are stunning, so close is their playing that it is hard to distinguish between the fiddle and the harmonica. This recording was issued by Green Linnet on L.P. and Cassette.
An Buachaill Dreoite – Reels, Jigs, Marches , Waltzes, Set Dances, Airs, Flings and Mazurkas from the legendary Clare Fiddler.
Recorded by Harry Bradshaw in the back lounge of McHugh’s Pub, Chord Road, Drogheda in 1994 and issued by Clo-Iar-Chonnachta.
Clo Iar-Chonnachta 1995 – CICD113
Two Genetleman of Clare Music – Gerdy Commane and Joe Ryan – Custy’s Music .
Recorded in Gerdy Commane’s house in Kilnamona by John O’Connor in 1999.