Ray Cuddihy writes about his upcoming show on RTÉ Radio One for Lá 'le Pádraig at 4pm, Mise FRESHIN' which he describes as a 'mix and mash' of traditional Irish music, Irish folk music and Irish hip hop.

People who know me will have heard this story. It occurred to me as a young man. I was clumsily manoeuvring a slate-grey diesel family car around junctions on the outskirts of Mallow, County Cork. It sounds mundane, but inside that car I was already exploding with anticipation.

Nothing fills your head with dreams like learning to drive in late adolescence. And nothing embodies this deep personal rapture like the music blasting from the car radio.

On air that sunny evening was Leagues O'Toole, an uncompromising and trusted source of quality selections. He played two songs in a row. Two tracks that, theoretically, did not belong together. He played traditional Irish supergroup Planxty. Then immediately after he played Limerick hardcore duo Giveamanakick.

With two hands gripped on the steering wheel, I was bursting out of my skin with rejoice. I was flush with adrenaline. I was ecstatic. I marveled at the visceral interaction of the DJ’s vision and this feeling that I was overwhelmed with. It was profound. Somehow the traditional folk giants had collided with the Limerick punks. It didn’t just make sense, it made something new.

On St Patrick’s Day I’ll be playing at least one of these groups on a one-off radio special named Mise FRESHIN’ on RTÉ Radio 1. The show will be a mix and mash of traditional Irish music, Irish folk music and Irish hiphop.

You will hear Dolores Keane and Christy Moore, but also Lunitic and DJ Mek. We will hear Willie Clancy and Lankum, Maggie Barry as well Scary Éire and Ill Dependents.

This year, of all years, is a special time to immerse ourselves in our country’s phonographic chronicles. Music has forever been the expression to our collective emotion and right now is an important time in our collective story.

You will hear legends of Irish scratch turntablism collage musical ideas, motifs and disparate elements into one hour of inspired rhythm and melody. There will be beauty, contemplation, skullduggery, craic and 'divilment’.

Éist anseo le Ray Cuddihy ag caint faoin gclár Mise FRESHIN' ar RTÉ Raidió na Gaeltachta

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I’m excited about this show because I honestly don’t think I could have come up with the concept at any other time. It is only by listening to contemporary artists in 2021 like Varo and Súil Amháin that the idea for the show presented itself. From here, it’s the creative DJ’s job to contrast and combine in order to present new ideas from old music.


I’m as excited about this music today as I was when I was learning to drive the big old car that evening. It’s all just radio and roundabouts, I guess.

Mise FRESHIN’ - RTÉ Radio 1 - St Patrick’s Day - 4pm