Tributes paid as NI Bluegrass legend Geordie McAdam plays his last tune

Tributes have been paid to an extremely popular member of Northern Ireland’s bluegrass community, Geordie McAdam, who died this week.

Friday, 5th March 2021, 3:38 pm
Geordie McAdam of The Broken String Band. Picture by Darren Kidd/Presseye

Bangor man Geordie, who was in his 80s, had performed at every Bluegrass Music Festival at the Ulster American Folk Park since it started in 1992.

Richard Hurst, festival organiser, said: “My abiding memory of Geordie is from 1997 when he accompanied several folk park costumed staff on a promotion of the festival, museum and Northern Ireland over several days in Glasgow.

“We took our replica Conestoga Wagon to Scotland with assistance from Tourism NI. The wagon was drawn by two impressive Clydesdale horses along Sauchiehall Street and Geordie stopped the crowds of passers-by with his fine fiddling and Ulster banter.

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“Geordie was a figurehead for our festival and for Northern Ireland as a whole for many years of his life. He will be missed very much by so many.”

Frank Galligan, a long-time friend, said: “To say that Geordie McAdam was popular is to understate the extraordinary affection and respect in which he was held.

“Everybody loved Geordie... he exuded warmth and pipe tobacco smoke in equal measure. I first saw him in 1992 at the Omagh Bluegrass Festival with the Black Mountain String Band, little thinking that a few years later, I would have the pleasure and privilege of introducing him on stage for over 20 years.”

News Letter country music columnist, Billy Kennedy, said: “Geordie McAdam was one of the great characters in Ulster-Scots folk-style music. He was always chirpy and engaging with everyone he met.

“He was a constant attraction at the Ulster American Folk Park Bluegrass festival and never failed to please with his mastery on the fiddle. He was a legend and will be missed,”

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