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Published on Nov 9, 2008
Micho Russell was one of Ireland s best-known traditional musicians in the latter half of the 20th century. He was born in Doonagore, Doolin, Co. Clare where he lived all his life.
He came from a musical family. His mother played the concertina and both his brothers, Packie, and Gussie played for house dances and later in the village pubs of Doolin. In 1973 Micho won the All-Ireland Tin Whistle competition. His style of playing was unmistakable for the variety and inventiveness in its rhythmical ornamentation and surprising stops. In the naturalness of his performance and stage presence he created an atmosphere of rare rapport with his audience. It added an iconic Irish dimension to his act that had no precedent or equal on the concert stage.
He enjoyed popularity and was much in demand from the 1970s onwards to perform at concerts and he toured all over Europe and the States. He was a patient and conscientious music teacher and he was a favourite at the Willie Clancy Summer School in Miltown Malbay. In later years, his life-long interest in recording background to tunes and folklore came to fruition in several publications. Micho died as a result of a car accident on February 19, 1994 .