01 November 2022

John Caulfield, RIP

Niall Toner sends the sad news that John Caulfield (above), fiddler in Dublin's Sackville String Band in 1976-77 and since then resident in the USA, died yesterday (31 Oct.) in California.

The poster (left) shows the Sackville in its 1977 configuration: front, Imor Byrne (fiddle), Colin Beggan (guitar); back, John (fiddle), Niall (mandolin), Richard Hawkins (banjo). This lineup came to an end with Imor's tragic death late in 1977. John subsequently left Ireland for the USA, where he made many devoted friends. The website 'Celtic musicians in the S.F. & Monterey Bay areas' showed him as a member of the Gasmen band and quoted this 1998 information:

John Caulfield (fiddle, mandolin, vocals) has been in many bands and has played gigs with Johnny Moynihan in Amsterdam, Dublin, and New York, where he moved to with his family from County Louth. Since moving to the Bay Area, John has played with The Mild Colonial Boys, 42, and The Core.

The picture of him above headed a GoFundMe scheme which was set up for him in 2018 after he had suffered a stroke and needed prolonged convalescence and continued treatment. The initial target sum of $10,000 was raised inside three weeks.

© Richard Hawkins

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