NSW South Coast folk band playing traditional tunes and songs from Ireland, the UK, Australia and North America




Ballyhooley is the NSW South Coast's folk group. We sing and play songs and tunes from the Irish, English, Scottish, Australian and North American traditions, solo and in up to 6-part harmony. Our instruments include Irish flute, tenor banjo, hammered dulcimer, fiddles, bouzouki, guitar, tenor guitar, whistle, piano, concertina and mandolin.

We're available for weddings, parties, concerts and dances, and can give musically illustrated talks on aspects of folk music. Ballyhooley can provide dinner music and entertainment either as the full band or in duos and trios. Recently, we've been appearing at festivals around New South Wales, including the National Folk Festival in Canberra.  We have our own sound equipment and we're prepared to travel!

Ballyhooley - from L to R: Julie, Melanie, Jesse, Pete, Terry & Sue.

Meet Ballyhooley....

Terry McGee

Terry has been actively involved in traditional music for over 45 years. He inherited a love of Irish music from his Irish parents - his father, from Co Louth, who sang and played accordion, and his mother who was a keen Irish dancer. Terry's day job is as a maker of Irish flutes, mostly for the American market. 

Terry has travelled extensively, researching flutes, folk music and sound archiving on many continents.  That has brought him into contact with many leading authorities on folk music and musical instrument history, including Seamus Ennis, Maud Karpeles, Bill Leader, A.L.Lloyd, Breandan Breathnach, Hamish Henderson, Peter Kennedy, Philip Bate and Anthony Baines.  He has collections of recordings lodged with the National Library of Australia and the National Film & Sound Archive.

Terry has played in a number of folk bands over the years, including The Perfect Cure, Stringybark, Colonial Experience and Dancerye.   He is a past President of the Monaro Folk Music Society, has been involved in running a number of folk clubs and folk festivals, and as a folk broadcaster on community radio.  He plays flute, whistle, guitar, sings and calls dances.  He's particularly attracted to whimsical Irish songs and sea shanties.

Jesse Rowan

Jesse is one of Australia's finest singers of traditional Irish songs. She has been singing since her childhood - at festivals and venues throughout the Eastern states of Australia, on community and national radio, at major public events, in support of some of the world's most famous artists including Jethro Tull, James Galway and the Chieftains, and on three commercially released albums with the band 'Spindlewood'. Both Jesse and Terry performed with the Canberra Ceilidh Band for many years in Canberra. Her warm and heartfelt performances continue to enchant audiences. Jesse also plays hammered dulcimer, and particularly enjoys the tunes of the blind Irish Harper, Turlough O'Carolan. Jesse loves songs with complex lilting melodies, usually in a melancholy minor key! She also loves the unusual modes found in some of the trad American songs.

Mel Turner

Mel is a self-taught musician who cut her teeth and gained a love of Irish music in the folk scene of Canberra in the early Ď90s. A year long music sabbatical to Ireland consolidated Melís love of Irish session music. She has performed regularly at Woodford folk festival as well as appearances at Cobargo Folk Festival, Music at the Creek, The Illawarra Folk festival and the National Folk festival. She is also regular at the Irish Session at Kellyís Irish pub in Newtown. Mel is known for her pumping banjo and traditional style mandolin.


Julie Kidd

Julie is well known around Moruya as a piano teacher, and brings her many years of keyboard experience to Ballyhooley.  But it's her wonderful low harmonies that we love most.  Liquid gold! Julie is attracted to Scottish songs, but she has eclectic tastes that embrace some contemporary compositions too.


Pete Hobson

Pete brings the Irish Bouzouki to Ballyhooley, but also doubles on fiddle, guitar and mandolin when the need arises.  Pete has played with The Larrikins, Ulick O'Boyle and the Settlers, Franklyn B Paverty, The Canberra Mandolin Orchestra, Snakes Alive, The Cornerhouse Ceili Band and Free Selection.  He was Musical Director of the Canberra Ceili Band.


Sue Hobson

Sue is Ballyhooley's main fiddle player, a role she assumes with authority and panache.  She has also played with the Canberra Ceili Band, the Cornerhouse Ceili Band, Horse's Leotard, and The Porch Band.



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Contact Ballyhooley: Phone 02 4471 3837 or email: