14 January 2021

Tributes to Mel

The first tributes to Mel were made very shortly after his death yesterday. Tony O'Brien wrote:

Today I lost a friend of thirty years with the death of Mel Corry. Mel passed away at 5.30 p.m. and has left a great void in the Irish bluegrass family. I met Mel at the first Athy Bluegrass Festival in 1991 and we were firm friends ever since. Mel was a member of the first Woodbine lineup in 2002, and even though he was only in for one year he filled in with the band on many occasions.

Mel shaped a lot of bands in Ireland this past thirty years - the Seldom Herd, the Dusty Millers, the Tennessee Hennessees, and King Blue. Mel was at the end of my phone any time I needed him to play or for some advice. A great banjo player and vocalist, he was at the heart of everything bluegrass in Ireland over that past thirty years. To me, Mel and a small core of bluegrass musicians were the leaders of Bluegrass Ireland, and everyone else were the supporting cast. He was a great friend to the Athy Bluegrass Festival and I’ll miss him so much. I was so looking forward to an end to this Covid so we could all meet up for a big session, but it has robbed us of that; so if and when it happens now, there will be a huge hole in the session with the loss of Mel.

As much as I and every bluegrass musician and fan will miss Mel, it is nothing to the loss his wife Fiona, sons Sean and Michael, and grand-daughter Nancy will feel. My heart is with them at this, the saddest time in their lives.

RIP Mel, old friend.

Many messages of sympathy and tributes to Mel, from friends all over Ireland and abroad, are on Tony's Facebook.
Des Butler of Co. Meath wrote:

The death has occurred of Mel Corry from Covid, a true gentleman and a bluegrass banjo player of exceptional talent. Having heard Mel play at many festivals and many more jamming sessions, I can say his great loss to bluegrass music cannot be estimated. His laid-back style of playing and his great harmonies were something to experience and always a treat to be present for.

I have no doubt that he will be missed greatly by the many musicians that have played with him, both in his bands and at many jamming sessions, and his many fans that enjoyed his exceptional musicianship. I have no doubt that his close friends and the fine musicians who always accompanied him will feel a great loss, likewise his wife and family.

Mel Corry RIP

Parking lot picking
King Blue at Athy, 2015: (l-r) Clem O'Brien, Sean McKerr,
Mel, Caolan 'Chief' Derby
Jamming at Ardara, 2019: Sean, Mel, Dessie Crerand (fiddle)

King Blue at Ardara, 2019: (l-r) Colin Henry, Sean, 
Mel, Charlie, Caolan

Thanks to Tony for the first two photos above, and to Des for the three following. Many more photos of Mel are on his Facebook page. Two photos and tributes to Mel have been added to Trademark's Facebook page.

Labels: ,


Post a Comment

<< Home