Sunday, 17 January 2010

John Doonan - At the Feis (1978)

320 kbps

John Doonan - At the Feis: Irish Traditional Dance Music in Strict Tempo (Topic - 12TS368 - 1978)

Recorded by Bill Leader in 1977, this is the second album from Newcastle flute and piccolo player John Doonan. Some of the tunes have become what many would consider to be overplayed, but Doonan's setting of both The Kesh and Morrison's are worth a listen, and the set dances are particularly nice.

1. Jackie Coleman's/Paddy Cavanagh's/John Brennan's [Reels]
2. Any Old Jig Will Do/The Butterfly [Slip Jigs]
3. Rodney's Glory [Set Dance]
4. The Idle Road/The Frost is All Over/The Black Rogue [Jigs]
5. The Spalpeen's Lament [Air]
6. The Kesh/Morrison's/Old Joe's [Jigs]
7. The Shannon Breeze/The Heathery Breeze/The Green Fields of America [Reels]
8. The Blackthorn Stick [Set Dance]
9. Hurry the Jug [Set Dance]
10. Rub the Bag [Set Dance]
11. The Blackbird [Air & Set Dance]
12. Spellan the Fiddler/The Rights of Man [Hornpipes]
13. The Irish Washerwoman/Father O'Flynn/The Lilting Fisherman [Jigs]


Tuesday, 5 January 2010

Peter Browne - The Sliabh Luachra Fiddle Master: Pádraig O'Keeffe (1993)

Peter Browne - The Sliabh Luachra Fidddle Master: Pádraig O'Keeffe (Irish Music - 1993)

Another excellent biographical essay, exploring in detail the life and times of the legendary Sliabh luachra fiddler Pádraig O'Keeffe. Written by Peter Browne, it stands alone as an excellent piece, but it is the fruit of research conducted by Browne for the RTÉ broadcast The Rolling Wave in 1993. Browne presented four programmes commemmorating Pádraig O'Keeffe's life and music, which can be heard on The Rolling Wave website.

Programme 1
Programme 2
Programme 3
Programme 4


Alan Ward - Music from Sliabh Luachra (1977)

Alan Ward - 'Music from Sliabh Luachra: An Introduction to the Traditional Music of the Cork/Kerry Borderland with Notes on Topic Records 12T(S)309-311' (Traditional Music Magazine, vol.5 - 1977)

An extremely well-informed and personal essay written by Alan Ward in 1977, setting out an introduction to the music of Sliabh Luachra, and paying particular attention to the musical history of Denis Murphy, his sister Julia Clifford, her husband John, and the travelling fiddle teacher Pádraig O'Keeffe. The 32-page booklet also provides substantial information on the three volumes in the 'Music from Sliabh Luachra' series released by Topic Records in 1977, and is a valuable and interesting resource for anyone who wishes to learn a little more about the musical traditions of the Sliabh Luachra region, and a short history of it's three most famous fiddlers, Pádraig O'Keeffe, Denis Murphy, and Julia Clifford.


Monday, 4 January 2010

John & Julia Clifford - The Humours of Lisheen (1977)

320 kbps

John & Julia Clifford - The Humours of Lisheen (Topic - 12TS311 - 1977)

This is the third instalment of Topic's Music from Sliabh Luachra series, and features the playing of husband and wife John and Julia Clifford, accompanied on piano by Reg Hall. It was recorded between 1975 and 1976, and most of the tracks were put down on two separate occasions in London, apart from track 10, which was recorded at Jack Lyons' Bar, Scartaglen, and track 20, recorded at Dan Connell's Bar, Knocknagree. The tunes on this album were all familiar to the Cliffords before they left Lisheen, Co. Kerry, with the exception of 'Tap the Barrel', a reel they picked up whilst living in Newcastle West, Co. Limerick, between 1953 and 1958. So, unlike The Star of Munster Trio, which consists almost entirely of tunes well-known on the London Irish music scene in the 1970s, this album gives an insight into the repertoire of the Sliabh Luachra region as it was played in the 1930s. As is to be expected, a number of tunes are associated with the Sliabh Luachra fiddle master, Pádraig O'Keeffe, from whom both Julia and her brother, Denis Murphy, learned their music. The production on the album is very basic, and the playing is fresh and unrehearsed, but the casual brilliance of Julia Clifford's playing is an absolute joy to behold.

1. The Humours of Lisheen/Art O'Keeffe's [Jigs]
2. Tap the Barrel/Jenny Tie the Bonnet [Reels]
3. The Frisco [Hornpipe]
4. Biddy Crowley's Ball (This is My Love, Do You Like Her?) [Single Jig]
5. The Bold Trainor O [Air]/Pádraig O'Keeffe's [Slide]
6. The Blue Riband/Up and Away [Polkas]
7. Cailín an Ti Mhoir (Girl from the Big House) [Jig]
8. Tom Sullivan's [Polka]
9. John J.Kimmell's/The Home Brew [Hornpipes]
10. Pádraig O'Keeffe's [Polka]
11. Pol Ha'Penny [Hornpipe]
12. John Mahinney's 2 (Brian O'Lynn)/The Ducks and the Oats [Jigs]
13. I Looked East and I Looked West [Polka]
14. Maurice Manley's/The Worn Torn Petticoat [Slides]
15. Táimse i m'Chodladh is ná Dúistear mé (I'm Asleep, Don't Wake me) [Air]
16. Going to the Well for Water (The Kaiser) [Slide]
17. Julia Clifford's/Bill the Waiver [Polkas]
18. The Rolling Waves [Single Jig]
19. Johnny Cope [Hornpipe]
20. John Clifford's [Polka]/Billy O'Rourke is the Boy/Going for Water (Scattery Island) [Slides]