Profile: Cherish the Ladies

Formed in 1985 and named after a well-known jig, this 6-woman New York- Irish band are regular performers on the US East Coast. They have also toured worldwide and released three albums. Their playing is strongly based on traditional dance music with a rich sound from a variety of instruments and songs featuring the vibrant voice of Cathie Ryan (now replaced by Aoife Clancy). They are usually accompanied by set dancers whose percussive footwork adds audibly as well as visually to the performance.


Joanie Madden           flute, whistle, harmony vocals
Mary Coogan             guitar, mandolin, banjo
Mary Rafferty           accordion, harmony whistle
Donna Long              piano, whistle, harmony vocals
Siobhan Egan            fiddle, bodhran, harmony whistle
Aoife Clancy            lead vocals, guitar, bodhran
The dancers seem to come and go an have included Eileen and Donny Golden, Kevin Broesler and Sheila Ryan. Other alumni of the band include Cathie Ryan, Winifred Horan and Maureen Doherty Macken.


1985   Cherish the Ladies     Shanachie 79053
       (Irish Women Musicians)
19??   Fathers and Daughters  Shanachie 79054

1992   The Back Door          Green Linnet 1119
1993   Out and About          Green Linnet 1134
1996   New Day Dawning        Green Linnet 1175
1998   Threads Of Time        RCA Victor 63131   

Also, by Joanie Madden
1994   A Whistle on the Wind  Green Linnet 1142
1996   Song of the Irish Whistle  HS 11060.2

CD Universe sells most of their albums online at a pretty good price, and carries Real Audio sound samples on some of them.


See this review of the group from the Aug/Sep 1995 issue of Dirty Linen magazine.

Quick update

No official news from the band in a while, but a number of people have written to inform me that Cathie Ryan has been replaced by Aoife Clancy, Win Horan has left to play with Solas (Seamus Egan's band) and maybe Sharon Shannon, and one of the dancers is Cara Butler, sister of Jean (of Riverdance fame, and who also danced with Cherish the Ladies for a while).

Copyright (c) 1994, 1996, 1998 Ceolas.

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