Tuesday, 23 March 2010

Jimmy Power - Irish Fiddle Player (1976)

Jimmy Power - Irish Fiddle Player (Topic - 12TS306 - 1976)

This album is available to buy from Topic Records.

Unlike the 'Irish Dances' (Clan - 233 003 - 1967) album, which was recorded in strict dance tempo, the music on this album is, in Power's own words, 'played normal, like', with an emphasis on listening pleasure, rather than absolute rhythmic precision. Tunes like Tommy Potts' version of 'The Rambling Pitchfork', and Michael Gorman compositions 'The Strayaway Child' and 'The Mountain Road' are played with an obvious relish for the subtleties of variation that are available to the precise and imaginative fiddle player, and the tune selections in general are fresh and interesting, although Power's playing is not perhaps as vigorous and exciting as it is on the 'Paddy in the Smoke' album (Topic - TSCD 603 - 1997). Power is accompanied on all tracks by Reg Hall, and on one track by Gerry Wright on bodhrán. You can listen to Jimmy Power describing his introduction to music as a boy, his development as a musician, and his relationship with Reg Hall, in a brief interview in the British Library's Archival Sound Recordings. You can also listen to a fragment of a music lesson given by Power at The Favourite in Holloway in 1979.

1. Tommy Potts' Rambling Pitchfork/The Strayaway Child [Jigs]
2. The Chorus/McKenna's [Reels]
3. Jockey to the Fair/Miss Brown's Fancy [Set Dances]
4. Coleman's Favourite/The Promenade [Hop Jigs]
5. Dwyer's/The Harvest Home [Hornpipes]
6. Jackie Coleman's/The Castle [Reels]
7. The Nine Points of Roguery/The Crib of Perches [Reels]
8. Whelan's/The Lark in the Morning [Jigs]
9. The Mountain Road [Reel]
10. Follow Me Down to Limerick/Hardiman the Fiddler [Slip Jigs]
11. Youghal Harbour [Set Dance]
12. The Walls of Liscarroll [Jig]
13. The Jug of Punch/The Moving Bogs of Powelsborough [Reels]
14. Statia Donnelly's [Waltz]/Statia Donnelly's [Jig]

Friday, 19 March 2010

Billy Clifford - Irish Traditonal Flute Solos and Band Music from Kerry and Tipperary (1977)

320 kbps

Billy Clifford - Irish Traditonal Flute Solos and Band Music from Kerry and Tipperary (Topic - 12TS312 - 1977)

Billy Clifford - Flute
Matt Hayes - Accordion
Catherine Ryan - Drums

Topic stretched the criteria somewhat in order to make this the fourth in the 'Music from Sliabh Luachra' series, but Billy Clifford's lifetime of exposure to the music of that region is very much evident in the solo material on this album. The solo polkas here feature the best playing of these tricky tunes in the Sliabh Luachra style that I have heard on the flute, and as Sliabh Luachra polkas played on the fiddle mimic the ornaments of the melodeon or accordion, Billy Clifford in turn uses the flute to play the fiddle, incorporating the idiosyncratic and heavily accented legato bowing of his mother Julia's fiddle playing into his own unique and really lovely style.

The other side to the album is the material recorded with Catherine Ryan and Matt Hayes, featuring the eponymous band music from Tipperary. There are a number of quite outstanding tunes, such as the dubiously titled 'Michael Coleman's', as well as a number of other reasonably well-known but interesting, even slightly unusual tunes. Between the two styles of playing there is some really great music on this album.

Billy Clifford has recently released a lovely album entitled 'Echoes of Sliabh Luachra'. You can listen to samples and buy the album from a number of retailers, including Claddagh Records, Copperplate Distribution, and Custy's Music. You can also listen to Billy perform two polkas in Custy's music shop here.

1. Billy – The Fermoy Lasses/The Honeymoon [Reels]
2. Trio – The Upperchurch 1/The Upperchurch 2 [Polkas]
3. Trio - Matt Hayes' (Paddy Fahey's 1)/Farewell to Gurteen[Jigs]
4. Billy - Matt Hayes' [Polkas]
5. Billy – The Cordal/The Munster [Jigs]
6. Trio – Julia Clifford's/The Coalminer's [Reels]
7. Trio - Mrs Ryan's/Danny Green's [Polkas]
8. Billy – The Doon/Pádraig O'Keeffe's [Reels]
9. Trio – The Hollyford/Dancing Eyes [Jigs]
10. Trio - The Flowing Tide [Hornpipe]
11. Trio – The Bracken Brae/Napoleon's Grand March [Marches]
12. Trio – The Wheels of the World/Michael Coleman's [Jigs]
13. Trio – Terry Teahan's/The Top of Maol [Polkas]
14. Billy – Hetty O'Hady [Jig]
15. Billy – The Milliner's Daughter/Durang's [Reels]
16. Billy – The Cuban/Bill the Waiver [Polkas]
17. Trio – The Home Brew/The Druid's Field [Hornpipes]
18. Trio – Willie Doherty's/Up on the Wagon [Polkas]
19. Billy – The Lilting Banshee/The Moycarkey [Jigs]
20. Billy - Byrne's [Hornpipe]
21. Billy – Garret Barry's/Muckross Abbey [Reels]


Muintir Lewis - Weeds in the Garden (1978)

320 kbps

Muintir Lewis - Weeds in the Garden (Tara - 2003 - 1978)

Breda Lewis - Mandoline
John Lewis - Flute
Patsy Lewis - Concertina
Liam Lewis - Fiddle

A sweet and simple album from the Lewis family, featuring some lovely East Galway tunes, and some particularly nice fiddle playing from Liam who, incredibly, had only been playing the instrument for three years when this was recorded, a testament to an extraordinary talent that is less widely recognised than it perhaps ought to be. He can be heard on Breda Keville's absolutely brilliant album 'The Hop Down', as well as featuring on the The Bowhouse Quintet recording 'Live in Ennis', and his solo East Galway version of 'The Girl that Broke My Heart' is one of the highlights of this album. Unfortunately there is considerable wear on the record from which this was ripped, especially on the outer edges, so there is some interference, particularly on tracks 1 and 7.

1. O'Connor Donn's/The Mountain Dew [Reels]
2. The Weeds in the Garden [Air]
3. The Gardener/Paddy O'Brien's [Hornpipes]
4. The Green Groves Of Erin/Allen's [Reels]
5. An Buachaill Caol Dubh [Air]
6. Tobín's/Tom Billy's [Jigs]
7. Paddy Fahey's 4/Paddy Fahey's 3 [Reels]
8. Deus Meus [Air]
9. The Star of Munster/The Girl that Broke My Heart [Reels]
10. Paddy Fahey's/Eddie Kelly's [Jigs]
11. A Dhia na Nollag [Air]
12. The Ewe with the Crumpled Horn/Moving in Decency [Reels]


Monday, 15 March 2010

Seán Ryan & Peter Carberry - Traditional Music of Ireland vol.2 (1960)

256 kbps

Seán Ryan & Peter Carberry - Traditional Music of Ireland vol.2
(Avoca - 33AV134 - 1960)

The second album in the Avoca series featuring Tipperary legend Seán Ryan, on which he is joined by Longford piper Peter Carberry. There is a rhythmic and tonal exactitude heard in these duet recordings which renders the individual sounds of the instruments indistinguishable in places, creating a hypnotic drive to the music which is quite unique and somewhat enchanting. I'm uncertain as to the exact date this recording was made, but it is likely to be some time around 1960.

1. The First House in Connaught/The Sligo Maid [Reels]
2. The Frieze Breeches/The Lark in the Morning [Jigs]
3. The Wexford/Dunphy's [Hornpipes]
4. The Girl That Broke My Heart [Reel]
5. The Blackbird [Set Dance]/Madame Bonaparte [Hornpipe]
6. The Killimor/The Blooming Meadows [Jigs]
7. The Steampacket/The Copperplate [Reels]
8. The Corner House/Rakish Paddy [Reels]
9. The Humours of Bandon/The Three Sea Captains [Set Dances]
10. The Battering Ram/The Cook in the Kitchen [Jigs]
11. The Cuckoo's Nest/Seán Ryan's [Hornpipes]
12. St. Patrick's Day [Set Dance]
13. The Hunter's Purse/The Maid of Mount Cisco [Reels]
14. T'Athair Jack Walsh/The Rambling Pitchfork [Jigs]


Wednesday, 3 March 2010

Terry Teahan & Gene Kelly - Old Time Irish Music in America (1977)

320 kbps

Terry Teahan & Gene Kelly - Old Time Irish Music in America
(Topic - 12TS352 - 1977)

Recorded by Mick Moloney in 1976, the album features Kilkenny-born C#/D accordion player Gene Kelly, and Terry 'Cuz' Teahan, a melodeon player who was a native of Gleanntán in Co. Kerry. Teahan's name will be familiar from a number of polkas and slides associated with his playing, and a number of compositions, including the fling 'The Man from Gleanntán' which he composed in honour of Pádraig O'Keeffe, his one-time teacher at Gleanntán National School. Most of the tunes are played on their own, with a few sets from the unusual accordion playing of Gene Kelly, who admits to possessing a 'totally haphazard' approach to bass acompaniment... Many of the tunes will be well-known, particularly to those who are fond of music from Sliabh Luachra, but the settings are often unfamiliar, granting a glimpse into the dance music of the region in the 1920s. More information can be found in the original liner notes, which are included in the download.

1. Gene Kelly – The Corner House/The Broomstick [Reels]
2. Terry Teahan – Tom Looney's [Slide]
3. Terry Teahan – Reagan's [Slide]
4. Gene Kelly – The Sweep's/Hennessey's [Hornpipes]
5. Terry Teahan – The Kerry Mills [Barndance]
6. Terry Teahan – Mike Howard's [Polka]
7. Terry Teahan – The Bird's [Hornpipe]
8. Gene Kelly – Blind Mary [Air]
9. Terry Teahan – The Barrel Organ [Slide]
10. Terry Teahan – The Evening I Spent with Mick [Slide]
11. Terry Teahan – The Paper Plate [Slide]
12. Gene Kelly - Fahey's/Gerry's Beaver Hat [Jigs]
13. Terry Teahan – The Lonesome Road to Dingle [Slide]
14. Terry Teahan – Mickey Chewing Bubble Gum [Polka]
15. Gene Kelly – Seán Hayes/If There Weren't Any Women in the World [Barndances]
16. Terry Teahan – Tadgh's Ailment [Hornpipe]
17. TerryTeahan – Going for Water [Slide]
18. Gene Kelly – The Old Caubeen [Story & Air]
19. Terry Teahan – Tadgh and Biddy [Waltz]
20. Terry Teahan – Poll Ha'Penny [Hornpipe]
21. Terry Teahan – Paddy Kenny's [Polka]
22. Gene Kelly – Father O'Flynn/The Connaughtman's Rambles [Jigs]
23. Terry Teahan – Jack Mitchell's [Polka]
24. Terry Teahan – Gan Ainm [Sword Dance]
25. Terry Teahan – The Road to Gleanntán [Fling]
26. Gene Kelly – The Swallow's Tail/Miss McLeod [Reels]