Featured Folk Artists
McDermott’s Handy was created to perform at a memorial tribute to the late fiddler Ed McDermott at the New Jersey Folk Festival in 1977. Kathy DeAngelo, the band’s founding member, was a protégé of the 81-year old Leitrim fiddler and took the name from a cut on a Gordon Bok record, which he attributed to Ed McDermott. It’s now over 20 years since that pivotal event and McDermott’s Handy continues to recall its roots in traditional Irish music and inspire a younger generation of musicians. The band is now the husband-wife duo of Kathy DeAngelo and Dennis Gormley, who reside in Voorhees, NJ and have been performing the music together since 1978. They comprise a veritable folk orchestra of instruments. Kathy plays mostly the Celtic harp, fiddle, banjo and occasionally adds some bodhran and mandolin. Dennis plays guitar, flutes, tinwhistle and bouzouki and has been known to play anything else with strings. Their multi-instrumental talents are augmented by their singing in both Irish and English.
McDermott’s Handy has performed at practically every major folk and Irish festival in the tri-state area. They have one album, “Come Take the Byroads,” and numerous other recording credits with other artists. Both Kathy and Dennis are active musicians and teachers in the Philadelphia-area Irish “scene”, playing at ceilis and sessions throughout the region. They’ve been hosting a weekly Irish session for the past 7 years, now located at the 3 Beans Coffeehouse in Haddonfield, NJ. Besides teaching privately and conducting classes for the Delaware Valley Comhaltas Ceoltoiri Eireann, they’re passing on the tradition teaching at a monthly session for “the next generation” at the Irish Center in Philadelphia.
Last modified 01:16 PM 06/28/2004