Al Clogston, wedding pianist and jazz piano tutor

Irish / American folk artist

Yes, I admit I no longer have quite the same amount of hair as I did in this picture, but I always liked it so here it is.

I have recently revived my folk activities after a lengthy hiatus when a local Wimbledon club I belong to needed someone to perform Irish folk music for their St. Patrick’s Day celebration. I had been threatening every year around that time to play a Paddy’s day gig but lethargy had always won out. This time, however, I gave in and had a great time revisiting my past.

In an earlier life I was a member of the Manhattan based Irish folk trio The Hudson River Boys. We had a good run for about seven or eight years during which time we warmed up several big name Irish acts including Paddy Reilly, Brendan Grace, Jim McCann, Luka Bloom, and were even on the same bill as the Clancy Brothers at the Lincoln Center Roots of American Music festival (we were first, they were last!). The most fun we had, though, was when we were the warm up act for comedienne Phyllis Diller for two weeks up in Traverse City Michigan.

Back then I was mostly playing the 5-stringed banjo. Nowadays I’m doing a bit more guitar playing than banjo picking as it makes a better accompaniment instrument for a solo act. I’m still doing a mixture of Irish and American folk tunes with an original or two snuck in for fun. Don’t have a quiet
St. Paddy’s Day (or any other). Just give me a call.


The Hudson River Boys are a wonderful group, solid musically and extremely versatile. They opened for me so beautifully taking me back in memory to the late ‘50’s when the Kingston Trio and the Smothers Brothers did the same. These are three of the most fun fellows, the nicest young guys, the sweetest, dearest… but remember, they’re great!
Phyllis Diller