I had the pleasure this week of interviewing the popular Deery family from Ballybofey who are famous for their musical talents.
Rodney operates RDM- Rodney Deery Music offering education in Music through lessons in Piano, Saxophone, Clarinet and Singing at his School of Music (The BASE, Stranorlar). Performance is most definitely the focus of the business since the onset of the Covid-19 Pandemic. Alongside his lovely wife Claire they have been busy covering music, to a wide listenership from as far away as Tokyo on a weekly basis Rodney and Claire offer weekly free ‘live’ Facebook performances from their home in Ballybofey to lift spirits during this time. Recently, they both were accompanied by Rodney’s cocooning parents Mai & Ivvy and performed in aid of PPE for our local frontline workers, which was very successful and indeed enjoyable.
Rodney plays Saxophone, Clarinet and Piano as well as covers vocals and is heavily influenced by all the Jazz greats as well as Irish legend Paddy Cole, who often plays Rodney’s Music on his radio show in Dublin. Rodney now performs alongside wife Claire and Father Ivvy, they perform at any event, including wedding drinks receptions and parties, with an eclectic mix of music, all in a unique Jazz feel. They cover Music ranging from 1930’s to the current day, everything from Jazz Greats such as Ella Fitzgerald to current artists such as Ed Sherrran, all in their own style.
Rodney’s late Grandmother Rosie was a noted Singer who entertained the troops during World War Two as well as known locally for her singing. Mai, Rodney’s Mum (82) is noted for her singing abilities also. Mai began singing at a very young age with the local choir and began singing professionally at 13, with all the local bands of the time including the Brendan McNulty Band (1952) packing local dance halls.
She was offered fame and stardom in England, fronting a big name there, but declined the offer to marry Rodney’s Dad, Ivvy (87) who in his own right is a musical icon, Ivvy played for the late Paddy McCafferty and the late Steve McPhilemy Band as well as owning his own band The Vivian Deery Orchestra (1958). His wife Mai also sang in these bands throughout her singing career.
It is no surprise that Rodney, as well as his siblings inherited the musical abilities of their parents, Rodney’s brother Liam (RIP), to name but one of his siblings was noted, both nationally and internationally for his incredible guitar playing.
The talent is continuing into the third generation, Rodney and Claire’s Daughter Rose (8) appeared on the Late Late Toy Show in 2014 and Rodney and Rose also appeared in a RTÉ show last year, Donnacha’s Two Talented. Rodney’s youngest Daughter Lillie is showing promising signs of following in her both her Father’s and Grandfather’s footsteps in the playing of Saxophone.
Rodney also is now seeing a demand for Saxophone alongside a DJ, this has become very popular at weddings, most certainly adding a touch of class to the final part of any big day!
For now however you will need to tune into Facebook on Friday nights at 9.30pm to catch the live. It’s a credit to this family who are so incredibly talented and are such a lovely friendly family. Wishing them continued success.
It’s a credit to this family who are so incredibly talented and are such a lovely friendly family. Wishing them continued success.