The Session (1987-1988)


Wednesday nights at 10.30pm TG4 are airing a 1987 RTE TV series produced by Frontier Films called ‘The Session‘. Recorded before a live audience the series features a mix of American and Irish musicians performing together. Our favourite episode sticks out like a sore thumb – a rock episode featuring 3 sets from Paul Cleary & The Partisans, Light A Big Fire and In Tua Nua. The series is well worth a second viewing (catch it on the TG4 player if you missed it) and we are hoping that TG4 might do some more poking around in the archives, a look at Anything Goes, Borderline or TV GAGA anyone?


Original Series

Season 1: Shot in the summer of 1987, the first programmes to be made in RTE’s spanking new Studio 4.

Programme 1 Bobby Whitlock with John Parr and Steve Cropper
Programme 2 Louis Stewart with Mundell Lowe and Jim Doherty
Programme 3 Donal Lunny with Elvis Costello and Matt Molloy
Programme 4 Philip Donnelly and John Prine
Programme 5 Paul Cleary and the Partisans, In Tua Nua and Light a Big Fire
Programme 6 Nanci Griffith and the Nashville Bluegrass Band

Season 2: Shot over three nights in the Point Theatre in 1988, the opening event in what is now called the 3arena.

Programme 1 Mary Black with The Black Family and Rosie Flores
Programme 2 The Chieftains with Flaco Jimenez and band
Programme 3 Guy Clark with Arcady (featuring a young Sharon Shannon) and Jimmie Dale Gilmore
Programme 4 John Prine with Lyle Lovett and Marty Stuart
Programme 5 Don Everly and the Dead Cowboys with Jack Clement
Programme 6 Joe Ely and Wilko Johnson

TG4 (2015)

Programme 1 – Bobby Whitlock with John Parr and Steve Cropper
Programme 2 – Donal Lunny with Elvis Costello, Matt Molloy and Iarla O lianard.
Programme 3 – Philip Donnelly with John Prine and Bobby Whitlock
Programme 4 – Louis Stewart with Mundell Lowe, Jim Doherty and Honor Heffernan
Programme 5 – Nanci Griffith, Ray Lynam, Peter Rowan, Jerry Douglas, Mark O’Connor and Mary Black
Programme 6 – The Chieftains, Flaco Jimenez and band and The O’Kanes
Programme 7 – Guy Clark, Arcady featuring Sharon Shannon, Francis Black with Sean Keane, and Jimmie Dale Gilmore and Marty Stewart
Programme 8 – John Prine and Lyle Lovett
Programme 9 – Paul Cleary and the Partisans, In Tua Nua and Light a Big Fire
Programme 10 – Mary Black, The Black Family, Rosie Flores with Flaco Jimenez and Marty Stewart
Programme 11 – Joe Ely and Wilko Johnson
Programme 12 – Jack ‘Cowboy’ Clement, The Dead Cowboys featuring Don Everly, Jim Rooney and Philip Donnelly.

2 Responses to “The Session (1987-1988)”

  1. Thanks for this – all great stuff….seem to remember RTE broadcasting Billy Bragg (+ others) , from the Olympia I think, back in the 80’s – can anyone shine a light on this ?

  2. John Dundon Says:

    Can u add CAMPUS ROCK early 80 s RTE series to the wish list especially the ZEN ALLIGATORS session

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