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Cherish the Ladies celebrates 30 years together

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Thursday March 05, 2015

From The Frederick News-Post

Cherish the Ladies celebrates 30 years together
By Michael Scott Cain

“There’s a saying,” Joanie Madden points out: “You don’t mess with an Irish mother. My mother always encouraged me. She let me play on the football team. I was the only girl who played. She’d say, ‘You want it? Go get it. You’re just as good as a man.’”

So when Madden wanted to become a musician, her mother supported her through all her early plodding attempts. “I started on the fiddle but gave it up and begged my mother to let me quit lessons. Then I tried the piano but didn’t like it either. Then a friend of mine was studying the whistle. That I liked. It was a toy. You’d fool around with it until you got good and then you took up the flute.”

Her mother supported her looking for an instrument that suited her. “Women played incredible roles in those days,” Madden, 49, remembers. “They showed a lot of strength.” Back then, though, they were strong in the background. “The women remembered the lyrics to the songs. The men sang the songs but when they forgot the lyrics, the women were the ones who remembered. In the last 40 to 50 years, women came to the foreground. Now there’s so many great women Irish singers.”

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