Philip, like so many traditional musicians, learned a few tunes on the whistle from his Dad as a young lad. There wasn’t much traditional music in the Maguire household when he was growing up, but house parties were a regular occurrence and everyone had to have a party piece. When it came to Philip’s Dad’s turn, he’d whip out the whistle and play Off To California, The Boys of Bluehill and The Harvest Home, three tunes which he taught Philip to get him started on the whistle.
Philip’s keen interest in trad music was awakened when he got caught up in the set dancing frenzy that swept the country in the late 1980s. Weekends were taken up travelling to set dancing festivals all over the country and Philip was impressed by the young musicians he met on his travels, and how the music strengthened the family bond as three or even four generations of family musicians played at sessions together. He resolved to at least try to infuse a passion for trad music into his own children, if he ever had a family. Some 10 years later, the family duly arrived and so the Maguire Band began. Of course, it would be remiss not to mention the most important member of the band, Tracey, who doesn’t play an instrument (we’re working on that) but as mother and wife provides all the support needed to keep things on the rails…and occasionally has to referee the ‘discussions’ when the band is rehearsing or creating!