Cathal Johnson biography and origins are Irish born and based today in Galway City, The Forge Arts Centre, New Road, Galway, Ireland. He grew up playing various music genres on guitar and harmonica adding accordion and melodeon later. Recognised by Hohner Harmonica manufacturers in Germany as ‘Service Harmonica Repair for All Ireland.’ Cathal studied as a harmonica technician with harmonica guru Brendan Power ( In 2010, Cathal attained a degree in Applied Music specialising in Harmonica Solo Performance at DkIT in Dundalk, Co. Louth in Ireland. He specialised in solo performance playing Irish Traditional Dance Music on diatonic and chromatic harmonicas. As a musician Cathal plays and sings music with the harmonica rack with guitar and also plays melodeon and accordion.


Biography: A professional picture taken by Barry Cronin for The Sunday Times

A keen harmonica player, Cathal also took time to study harmonica under the tutelage of Rick Epping of “Pumpkin Head” and inventor of the XB40 Hohner Harmonicas. Cathal attended workshops with harmonica virtuosos Mick Kinsella and Rick Epping at the Miltown Malbay summer festival. He also attended workshops with the Murphy Brothers’ Festival in Waterford. A festival organised by his sons John and Pip, Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann champions in their own right in honour of their father Phil Murphy, a well known Irish harmonica player from Waterford. Cathal attended the workshops there, building his knowledge and skills as a harmonica player.

Transparent covers with button to activate magnets on these Turbo Harps!

Biography: Photography, courtesy Barry Cronin. Transparent covers with button to activate magnets on these Turbo Harps!

Cathal Johnson has successfully managed music events for numerous festivals, parties, pubs and clubs in Galway, Donegal and Louth, street performances for the Louth County Council. Cathal plays festivals such as Electric Picnic opening for the Bog Cottage venue in the Body and Soul area, played Vantastival and BARE along other festivals over the years and to come. Other events including raising funds for volunteer groups such as Louth Nature Trust. Keep an eye out for up and coming performances, concerts and gigs.

Electric Picnic

Cathal and friends playing in The Bog Cottage at Electric Picnic, Strad Bally.

Here he is performing with friends at Electric Picnic. Come and join the craic there someday, you wont be disappointed!!!

If you are interested in harmonica repairs to your harmonicas or alternative tunings, custom harmonicas, lessons or workshops or indeed performances please do get in touch.