Friday, 30 December 2011

Michael Dwyer - Traditional Music of Ireland (1975)

320 kbps

Michael Dwyer - Traditional Music of Ireland
(Silver Hill Records - PSH 102 - 1975)

Recorded on his brother Finbarr's Silver Hill label, this is a lovely EP of Irish music played on the simplest of instruments by Michael Dwyer, and accompanied very tastefully by Kevin Taylor on piano. There was considerable wear on the record, so there are some intrusive artefacts here and there, but this is a lovely recording of a great player, and it's well worth a listen. Sadly Michael died tragically a number of years ago, and there is very little of his sweet whistle playing left behind. There is a short clip of Michael's playing which you can watch here.

1. Richard Dwyer's/Seán Sa Cheo [Reels]
2. The Sunshine [Hornpipe]
3. The Flax in Bloom/The Castle [Reels]
4. The Laurel Tree/Speed the Plough [Reels]
5. The Kid on the Mountain [Slip Jig]
6. The Heather Breeze/The Chattering Magpie [Reels]

Paddy Cronin - The Rakish Paddy (1975)

320 kbps

Paddy Cronin - The Rakish Paddy (Fiddler Records - FRLP 002 - 1975)

Recorded by Frank H.Ferrel in September 1975, this is an exceptionally rare (and now ridiculously expensive) recording of the famous Sliabh Luachra fiddler and flute player Paddy Cronin. He is joined on the record by Mary Irwin, who provides unexceptional vamped piano accompaniment, in accordance with the standards of the day. Nonetheless, it's a nice record, with solid fiddling from an exceptional player. The highlight of the album for me is probably Paddy Cronin's unique rendition of the Maid Behind the Bar, which he calls the Haymaker Reel. It's closely related to the variant of the Maid commonly played in C major, which is known as Jimmy McBride's. There is a nice clip of Paddy playing the East Kerry reel, The Girls of Farranfore, which you can watch here, and another where he plays The Girl Who Broke my Heart here.

1. Lucy Campbell [Reel]
2. The Humours of Ennistymon [Jig]
3. Eleanor Kane's/The Teetotaller [Reels]
4. Jenny's Welcome to Charlie [Reel]
5. The Glen Allen [Reel]
6. The Ballydesmond/Denis Murphy's [Polkas]
7. The Haymaker [Reel]
8. Drops of Brandy [Slip Jig]
9. The Drunken Sailor [Hornpipe]
10. The Green Fields of America/The Short Grass [Jigs]
11. Killaghbeg House [Reel]
12. The Bunch of Keys/The Steampacket [Reels]
13. Scully Casey's [Jig]
14. The Girls of Farranfore (The Game of Love ) [Reel]
15. The Congress [Reel]
16. Reavey's/The Old Maid at the Spinning Wheel [Jigs]
17. Crabs in the Skillet [Jig]
18. Tobín's Favourite [Jig]
19. Rakish Paddy [Reel]
20. The Gold Ring [Jig]
21. The Braes of Auchtertyre [Reel]