Eileen Niehouse is one of very few women playing Celtic finger style guitar. Luckily, she is from Denver, home of the notorious Mother Folkers, a yearly gathering of local women musicians (which boasts alums: Lynn Morris, Katy Moffatt, Mollie O'Brien and Mary Flower). Her exposure to Irish music came very early. Her mother was from Co. Galway and was active in the Irish community. From wakes to dance lessons, to many visits to relatives in Ireland, Eileen has been immersed in the culture. Eileen played in various local Irish bands over the years, but became frustrated with playing just accompaniment, and started working out fingerstyle versions of tunes. Her CD, Mad Grace, is the fruit of that labor. It mixes group and solo pieces, all instrumental, and all favorites of Eileen's. It also led to her meeting El McMeen, who strongly encouraged her to go solo and gladly shared his musical ideas and tips. Though she seldom travels, she can be seen at the yearly Potomac Celtic Festival in Virginia, and she is the 'house band' at the Celtic Women International Conferences. Eileen always tunes her guitar to DADGAD, having been inspired by Micheal O'Domhnaill and awed by Pierre Bensusan. One of her pieces, 'Carolan's Draught', is featured in the Mel Bay book 'Pierre Bensusan Presents DADGAD Music.' She hopes to return to the studio in the fall of '06 to finish recording her second CD, 'Eire Guitar.'
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