Tuesday 29 September 2009

Seoda Ceoil 2 (1968)

Séamus Ennis, Seán Keane, Seosamh Ó hÉanaí & John Joe Gannon -
Seoda Ceoil 2 (Gael Linn- CEF022 - 1968)

Gael-Linn intend to re-release their entire back catalogue, so I have removed the download link. Sorry about that... The folks at Gael-Linn tell me that both Seoda Ceoil 1 & 2 will be re-released towards the end of next year, so that's good news.

The second of the Seoda Ceoil series produced by Gael Linn and Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann, featuring Dubliners Séamus Ennis and Seán Keane, Connemara Sean Nós singer Seosamh Ó hÉanaí (Joe Heaney), and Westmeath box player John Joe Gannon, whose selection of tunes provides a welcome glimpse into the musical heritage of the county. He recalls that single jigs were as popular in Westmeath as double jigs and reels when he was a young man in the late 1930s, and he plays a number of tunes learned from his father, James Gannon of Streamstown. Seosamh Ó hÉanaí's selection of Sean Nós songs from Connemara are a powerful testament to his reputation as one of the finest singers in the tradition, and Séamus Ennis and Seán Keane, in no need of introduction, are also on top form in this very traditional recording.

1. Séamus Ennis – Cois Abhann na Séad [Air]/O'Callaghan's [Hornpipe]
2. Séan Keane – The Oak Tree [Reel]
3. Seosamh Ó hÉanaí – Amhrán na Páise [Song]
4. Séamus Ennis – Miss Monaghan/The Flags of Dublin/Hand me Down the Tackle [Reels]
5. John Joe Gannon – James Gannon's/The Castlebar Races [Jigs]
6. Seosamh Ó hÉanaí - D'Éirigh mé ar Maidin [Song]
7. Seán Keane – Jenny's Welcome to Charlie/The Connaught Heifer [Reels]
8. Seán Keane – The Wind that Shakes the Barley/Kelly's Drowsy Maggie [Reels]
9. Séamus Ennis – Crónán na Máthar [Air]/T'Athair Jack Walsh [Jig]
10. Seosamh Ó hÉanaí – A Chailín Bhig na Luachra [Song]
11. John Joe Gannon – The Green Gates/Miss Thornton [Reels]
12. Seán Keane – Willie Clancy's/Garret Barry's [Jigs]
13. Séamus Ennis – Colonel Frazer/The Braes of Busby [Reels]
14. John Joe Gannon – Tom Moran's Fancy/The Streamstown Jig [Single Jigs]
15. Séamus Ennis – O'Keeffe's Speed the Plough/The Merry Blacksmith/The Music of the Forge [Reels]

Monday 28 September 2009

Vincent Griffin - Traditional Fiddle Music from County Clare (1977)

128 kbps

Vincent Griffin- Traditional Fiddle Music from County Clare (Topic - 12TS338- 1977)

The first of two albums recorded by East Clare fiddler and teacher Vincent Griffin. The second album, recorded in 2000, was not made available on general release, but can be purchased directly from Vincent himself. Contact details are available here. Griffin's playing on this recording is a blend of the traditional East Clare style with the Sligo playing of the 78-era, with a heavy emphasis on Michael Coleman's style in particular. The characteristic East Clare intonation and exchange of Fs and F#s comes through nonetheless, and Griffin certainly has his own unique manner of expression. He is accompanied on a number of tracks by harp and piano, played by Geraldine Carrig. The Mayo air Se Bhfath Mo Bhfuartha (The Cause of my Sorrow) is particularly beautiful, and Carrig's harp accompaniment is very sweet indeed.

1. Fahey's 1/Fahey's 2 [Reels]
2. Fahey's/The Cliffs of Moher [Jigs]
3. Paddy Ryan's Dream/Mamma's Pet [Reels]
4. Martin Rocheford's/The Sligo Maid [Reels]
5. The New Century/The Cuckoo [Hornpipes]
6. Coleman's/Gan Ainm/Coleman's Cross [Jigs]
7. Lord MacDonald's/Ballinasloe Fair [Reels]
8. The Reefs/McFadden's Favourite [Reels]
9. The New Year's In/Youghal Quay [Reels]
10. Se Bhfath Mo Bhfuartha [Air]
11. Lord Gordon's [Reel]
12. Dr Gilbert's/The Queen of May [Reels]
13. The Trip to Sligo/Garret Barry's [Jigs]
14. The Night in Ennis/The Maid Behind the Bar [Reels]
15. Crowley's 1/Crowley's 2 [Reels]
16. Lady Anne Montgomery/Down the Broom/The Gatehouse Maid [Reels]


Tuesday 22 September 2009

Johnny Cronin & Joe Burke - Cronin & Burke (1977)

128 kbps

Johnny Cronin & Joe Burke - Cronin & Burke (Shanachie - 29005 - 1977)

Johnny Cronin, brother of Paddy, a native of Gneevegullia, Co. Kerry, was well-known as a fiddle player in New York throughout the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s. His bowing technique, once typical of the Kerry style, underwent significant change after his emigration to the USA in 1956, particularly under the influence of Andy McGann, with whom he played a great deal. Joe 'Banjo' Burke, originally from Johnstown, Kilkenny, emigrated to New York in 1972, having spent much time in England. He was well-known as a singer among the Irish musical community in New York, as well as playing banjo regularly with the likes of James Keane, Jesse Owens, Paddy Reynolds and Andy McGann. Piano accompaniment is provided by Belfast-born Jerry Wallace, originally a piccolo player, the knowledge of which gave him the intimate awareness of tunes he felt necessary to provide convincing accompaniment.

1. The Ships are Sailing/The Longford Collector [Reels]
2. The Cat Rambles to the Child's Saucepan/The Bunratty Boys [Slides]
3. Doherty's/Toss the Feathers [Reels]
4. Liam Browne's/As I Went Out Upon the Ice/The Ballydesmond [Polkas]
5. Martin Wynne's/The Pride of the Bronx [Reels]
6. The Top of Cork Road/The Wandering Minstrel [Jigs]
7. Micho Russel's/The Old Copperplate [Reels]
8. The Leprechaun/Dingle Regatta [Slides]
9. Drag Her Round the Road/Martin Wynne's [Reels]
10. The Plains of Boyle/The First Sign of Light [Hornpipes]
11. Farewell to Ireland/The Blackthorn Stick [Reels]
12. O'Keeffe's/Johnny Leary's [Slides]


Richard O'Mealy - BBC Recordings (1943)

320 kbps

A set of recordings made in 1943 by the BBC in Belfast, collected by Ken McLeod and cleaned up by Ronan Browne. It is quite possible that O'Mealy was duped, as he was reputedly reluctant to be recorded because people, he felt, would be less likely to come out to hear him perform if they had access to his music at home. His percussive, staccato style is lively and driving, and his regulator work is really quite exceptional. Ronan Browne has written some incisive analyses of O'Mealy's piping, which can be read here. Those who wish to read more about O'Mealy's life and music may also be interested in this presentation, made by Ken McLeod and Ronan Browne, which can be viewed here. Robbie Hannon also presented a very interesting programme on O'Mealy on RTÉ's The Long Note in 1984, which you can listen to here.

1. O'Mealy's [Hornpipe]
2. The Cork (The Harvest Home) [Hornpipe]
3. The Rambling Pitchfork [Jig]
4. The Blackbird [Set Dance]
5. Drops of Brandy [Slip Jig]
6. The Sligo Lasses [Reel]
7. Smash the Windows [Single Jig]
8. The Donegal [Reel]
9. The Mountains of Pomeroy [Air]
10. The Maid at Mourneshore [Air]


Jimmy Power - Irish Dances Recording Sessions (1967)

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Jimmy Power - Irish Dances Recording Sessions (1967)

These are the original recording sessions from Jimmy Power's album 'Irish Dances', which, unsurprisingly, was intended to provide accompaniment for dancing, something that is obvious from the plodding pace of the set dances and hornpipes. Reg Hall provides the piano accompaniment on all tracks except that on Dowd's Favourite, where the piano is played by Paul Gross. Power was often employed to provide music for dance competitions, something he is said to have described as 'one of the most tiresome tasks in the field of Irish music'. He is well-known as one of the hosts of the legendary session at The Favourite in Holloway, and is one of the musicians featured on the album 'Paddy in the Smoke'. This collection of recordings includes the material that was to appear on the Clan Records album 'Irish Dances' (233 003), and a number of other recordings that didn't make it. The set dances and hornpipes are slow and ponderous, but much of the other material is brisk, and Power's light and staccato style is quite lovely.

Many thanks to KR for providing this material.

1. The Doon/Rakish Paddy [Reels]
2. The Irish Girl [Slip Jig]
3. Kitty Come Down from Limerick [Slip Jig]
4. The Hunt [Set Dance]
5. Contentment is Wealth/T'aithar Jack Walsh [Jigs]
6. The Poppy Leaf (Keane O'Neary's) [Hornpipe]
7. Planxty Dury [Waltz]
8. The Maid Behind the Bar/The Bunch of Keys [Reels]
9. Dowd's Favourite [Reel]
10. The Pipe on the Hob/The Cliffs of Moher [Jigs]
11. Bonaparte's Retreat [Set Dance]
12. The Derry [Slip Jig]
13. The Idle Rogue/The Westmeath [Jig]
14. The Drunken Sailor [Hornpipe]
15. The Sport of the Chase [Slip Jig]
16. Martin Wynne's 2/Never was Piping so Gay [Reels]
17. Coleman's/The Promenade [Hop Jigs]
18. Garret Barry's/The Knights of St Patrick [Jigs]
19. Planxty Davis [Set Piece]
20. The Four Courts [Reel]
21. The Gold Ring [Jig]
22. The Piper through the Meadow Straying [Set Dance]
23. When Sick is it Tea you Want?/Do you want any More? [Jigs]


Saturday 19 September 2009

Roger Sherlock - Memories of Sligo (1978)

128 kbps

Roger Sherlock - Memories of Sligo (Inchecronin - INC 7419 - 1978)

A beautiful recording of Sligo-born flute player Roger Sherlock, subtly accompanied by Mary Conroy on guitar. Sherlock's tune selection seems a fairly accurate representation of North Connaught musical tastes, with reels predominating, followed by polkas, and only one set of jigs. The most interesting tune selection is the eleventh track: two well known slip jigs played in 3/2 time, in the style of north-east English triple hornpipes. Rarely heard in Irish music, these are the elusive and, now, contentiously-titled hop jigs known throughout Ireland before the decline of the triple hornpipe as a popular dance tune in the late-Eighteenth Century.

1. The Turnpike Gate/The Killavil Fancy [Reels]
2. Dowd's 9/Jack Maguire's [Reels]
3. The Duke of Leinster/The Duke of Leinster's Wife [Reels]
4. Morrison's/The Trip to Sligo [Jigs]
5. Fred Finn's/The Sailor on the Rock/Gan Ainm [Reels]
6. The Return of Spring/The Mountain Spring [Polkas]
7. The Queen of May/Anderson's [Reels]
8. The Pinch of Snuff/The Ships are Sailing [Reels]
9. The Dairymaid/The Rising Sun/Tom Billy's/Callaghan's [Reels]
10. The Galway Rambler/The Boys of the Lough [Reels]
11. The Foxhunter's/Comb your Hair and Curl it [Hop Jigs]
12. The Lads of Laois/Mama's Pet [Reels]
13. Dash to Portobello (Seán Ryan's)/The Pigeon on the Gate [Reels]
14. Tripping to the Well/The Kiss Behind the Door [Polkas]
15. The Flowers of the Red Mill/The Sreetplayer [Reels]


Friday 18 September 2009

Tommy Healy & Johnny Duffy - Memories of Sligo (1978)

This album is available to buy from Topic Records.

Tommy Healy & Johnny Duffy - Memories of Sligo (Topic - 12TS335 - 1978)

Tommy Healy and Johnny Duffy are musicians of the old South Sligo style, heavily influenced by both the recordings of famous émigrés Paddy Killoran and Michael Coleman, and the music of the dance halls and kitchen dances for which they played in their youth. The tune selection here is very much representative of the Sligo repertoire, with several notable exceptions, in particular 'The Lancers', derived from Spagnoletti's La Dorset, an early 19th Century piece originally published as Figure 1 of 'The Original Lancers' Quadrille', and 'Mrs Kenney', a lovely mazurka named after a 19th Century fiddle player from Dublin. They are accompanied on piano by Reg Hall.

1. The Tarbolton/The Longford Collector/The Sailor's Bonnet [Reels]

2. The Wandering Minstrel/Fasten the Legging/The Smash (Coleman's Cross) [Jigs]

3. The Rights of Man/The Honeysuckle [Hornpipes]

4. The Boys of the Lough/The Devils of Dublin [Reels]

5. The Scotsman over the border/Tell her I am [Jigs]

6. The Montua/The Happy Days of Youth [Reels]

7. Fred Finn's [Reel]

8. The Lancers [Jig]

9. The Gold Ring/Richard Brennan's Favourite [Jigs]

10. Miss McLeod/The Wild Irishman [Reels]

11. The Old Grey Goose [Jig]

12. The Humours of Lissadell/Sweeney's Dream [Reels]

13. The Cavan Lasses (Coppers and Brass)/The Rose in the Heather [Jigs]

14. The Enchanted Lady/The Holy Land [Reels]

15. Mrs Kenney [Mazurka]

16. Martin Wynne's 1/Martin Wynne's 2 [Reels]

Thursday 17 September 2009

John Bowe & Mary Conroy (1977)

128 kbps

John Bowe & Mary Conroy (Inchecronin - INC 7417 - 1977)

Recorded in 1977 on Brendan Mulkere's Inchecronin label, Bowe's vigorous and inventive button accordion playing is pleasantly accompanied by Conroy's muted, almost piano-like, chord progressions on the guitar. It's a lovely accordion album altogether, and Mulkere was obviously on form when he wrote the sleeve notes: 'This record is especially for those who want to listen for construction, continuity and balance in the music.

If you are tone deaf this sleeve will make a nice poster'...

1. Ryan's Rant/Fahy's [Reels]
2. The Sailor's Cravat/The Reel of Bogey [Reels]
3. The Monaghan/In Memory of McKeigue [Jigs]
4. The Downfall of Paris [Set Dance]
5. John Bowe's Favourite/Mulhair's [Reels]
6. The Repeal of the Union/The West Clare [Reels]
7. Thomond Bridge [Hornpipe]
8. The Pensioner who Kissed his Granny/The Scottish Four Courts [Reels]
9. The Ashplant/The First House in Connaught [Reels]
10. Bowe's/Seán Ryan's [Reels]
11. The Drunken Sailor [Hornpipe]
12. Eleanor Kane's/Paddy on the Railroad [Reels]
13. The Thatched Cabin/The Maids of Castlebar [Reels]
14. The Japanese Hornpipe
15. The Teetotaller/Paddy Taylor's [Reels]


Wednesday 16 September 2009

Brendan McGlinchey - Live at the West London Folk Club (1973)

128 kbps

Recorded in November 1973 by Terry Yarnell, it features Brendan McGlinchey playing unaccompanied to the West London Folk Club. The sound quality is reasonable, and despite the considerable traffic noise in the background, McGlinchey's characteristically crisp and precise playing shines through. Unaccompanied here, McGlinchey's playing is less exact and more free than it is on his only studio-recorded album Music of a Champion, on which his playing is perhaps closer to its south east Ulster origins. Despite being involved in long tours with two ceili bands, McGlinchey stated that he always found it difficult to play in groups because his natural instinct to improvise was something he had to keep in check, while when playing alone he was free to follow his imagination. These two distinct elements in his playing can be compared by listening to both these recordings.

Track 19 seems to be corrupted. I included it simply as a point of social interest, not because it possesses any particular musical merit. Members of the Irish commmunity living in Britain during the Troubles will recall the significance of the Irish national anthem, played at the conclusion of social events (something that is far less contentious in these days of cute and fashionable Celticism). Those who are unable to download it, and wish to do so, can contact me on pashadragutreis@yahoo.co.uk

1. Bonnie Kate [Reel]
2. Cherish the Ladies [Jig]
3. Dr Gilbert's/The Queen of May [Reels]
4. Drowsy Maggie/Farewell to Ireland [Reels]
5. The Drunken Sailor [Hornpipe]
6. Jenny's Welcome to Charlie [Reel]
7. Kitty Come Down from Limerick [Slip Jig]/Crowley's/Lucy Campbell [Reels]
8. Lord Gordon's/The Maids of Castlebar [Reels]
9. Splendid Isolation/Lawries's [Reels]
10. The Blackbird [Hornpipe]
11. The Queen of the West [Hornpipe]
12. The Coolin [Air]
13. Knocknagow [Jig]
14. The Bride's Favourite/Paddy Taylor's [Jigs]
15. Dicky Sherlock's [Reel]
16. The Steampacket/Trim the Velvet [Reels]
17. Gan Ainm/The Pigeon on the Gate/The Donegal [Reels]
18. Gan Ainm/Tom of the Hills [Reels]
19. Amhrán na bhFiann [March]


Tuesday 15 September 2009

Traditional Irish Music from Galway and Clare (1977)

128 kbps

Bobby Casey, Gabriel McKeon, Raymond Roland, Liam Farrell & John Roe - Traditional Irish Music from Galway and Clare (Standfast Records - PINE 1216 - 1977)

Featuring musicians from the London Irish scene of the late 1970s, this is a lively recording made by the long defunct label Standfast Records. Three of the musicians, Raymond Roland (Accordion), John Roe (Piano), and Liam Farrell (Banjo), were members of the group Le Chéile, recently re-formed in the absence of the late Messrs. P.J.Crotty and Raymond Roland. They are joined on this album by West Clare fiddle master Bobby Casey, and by Dublin piper Gabriel McKeon.

1. Dowd's/The Ewe/Come West Along the Road [Reels]
2. Patsy Touhy's/The Green Fields of Rossbeigh [Reels]
3. The West Wind/Toss the Feathers [Reels]
4. Carrickfergus [Air]
5. Jenny's Welcome to Charlie/The Skylark [Reels]
6. Paddy's/Cooley's [Hornpipes]
7. Captain Rock/Murray's Fancy [Reels]
8. The Graf Spey [Reel]
9. Toss the Feathers/The College Groves [Reels]
10. The Maid of Castlebar [Reel]
11. The Drunken Gauger [Set Dance]
12. Lord Gordon/Trim the Velvet [Reels]
13. The Road to the Golleen (The Humours of Tullycrine) [Hornpipe]
14. Lord McDonagh (Lord McDonald's)/Ballinasloe Fair [Reels]

Monday 14 September 2009

Denis Murphy - Music from Sliabh Luachra (1995)

128 kbps

Denis Murphy, Julia Clifford, Pádraig O'Keeffe, Andy McGann, Johnny O'Leary & Séamus Ennis - Music from Sliabh Luachra (RTÉ 183 CD - 1995)

Compiled from recordings made by RTÉ between 1948 and 1969, and unfortunately out of print, it features a number of famous Sliabh Luachra musicians, as well as the Irish-American fiddler Andy McGann, and piper and collector Séamus Ennis. Sound quality is variable, as is to be expected, but the playing is, of course, nothing less than brilliant. Of particular interest is the Sliabh Luachra style rendition of 'The Turkey in the Straw', and the fluent sligo style duet between Murphy and McGann, as well as the array of beautifully played slides and polkas.

1. The Humours of Lisheen/The Lark in the Bog [Jigs]
2. Cronin's [Hornpipe]
3. The Humours of Galteemore/O'Keeffe's Dream/The New Post Office [Reels]
4. The Star Above the Garter/Pádraig O'Keeffe's [Slides]
5. Caoineadh Ui Neill [Air]
6. The Honeymoon [Reel]
7. Tarrant's/The Blue Ribbon [Polkas]
8. Breeches Mary/The Tenpenny Bit [Jigs]
9. The Mountain Road/The Dairymaid [Reels]
10. Denis Murphy's/The Green Cottage/Quarry Cross [Slides]
11. Fitzgerald's/O'Callaghan's Low [Hornpipes]
12. The Turkey in the Straw [Reel]
13. The Green Cottage Set [Polkas]
14. The Harlequin/The Chancellor [Hornpipes]
15. Apples in Winter/Fanning's [Jigs]
16. The Scartaglen/Denis Murphy's [Polkas]
17. Art O'Keeffe's/Dawley's Delight/Quarry Cross [Slides]
18. The Woman of the House [Reel]
19. Caoineadh Uí Dhómhnaill [Air]
20. The Mug of Brown Ale/The Rose in the Heather [Jigs]
21. The Pretty Girls of the Village/The Piper's Despair/Jim Kennedy's Favourite [Reels]
22. The Humours of Mountcollins/Chase me Charlie [Slides]
23. O'Callaghan's [Hornpipe]

Jimmy Doyle & Dan O'Leary - Traditional Music from the Kingdom of Kerry (1977)

128 kbps

Jimmy Doyle & Dan O'Leary - Traditional Music from the Kingdom of Kerry (Shanachie 29007 - 1977)

A lovely recording of very traditional playing by two musicians from Gibb, near Killarney, made in 1977, and sadly still unavailable on CD. There are no reels at all, and only one set of double jigs - the rest of the album consists almost exclusively of Kerry slides and polkas played with the strong rhythmic emphasis on the backbeat characteristic of the Sliabh Luachra region. It is very clear from their sparse, unobscured style that these musicians are of that generation whose music was played, at least publicly, for purposes of dancing, rather than for simply the pleasure of listening.

1. The Blue Ribbon Set [Polkas]
2. Murphy's [Slides]
3. Baile an Tsanhradh/Weaver's Delight [Polkas]
4. The Last Chance [Polka]
5. Brosna Slides
6. Cronin's [Single Jig]
7. Murphy's Delight/Charley O'Leary's Favourite [Polkas]
8. Listry's/Chase me Charlie [Slides]
9. Doyle's Favourite/O'Leary's Favourite [Polkas]
10. Art O'Keeffe's/The Goulin [Slides]
11. The Jib/The Bog Road [Polkas]
12. Pádraig O'Keeffe's [Slide]
13. Tom Billy's/The Thrush on the Strand [Jigs]
14. The Lakes of Sligo [Polka]

Ceol an Cláir (1978)

128 kbps

Bobby Casey, Joe Ryan, Junior Crehan, John Kelly & Patrick Kelly - Ceol an Cláir vol.1 (Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann - CL17 - 1978)

A very important and rare release from Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann compiled from recordings made between 1966 and 1978. It features five musicians whose playing exemplifies the various fiddling styles of West Clare. Sound quality is variable, as tracks were recorded on different media over a long period, but this is a truly magnificent album of unaccompanied West Clare fiddling from some of the masters of the tradition.

1. Bobby Casey - The Reel of Mullinavat/Tie the Ribbons [Reels]
2. Bobby Casey - The Drunken Gauger [Set Dance]
3. Joe Ryan - The Wheels of the World/Rakish Paddy [Reels]
4. Joe Ryan - Mo Buachaillín Bán [Air]
5. John Kelly - Mary Brennan's Favourite [Fling]
6. John Kelly - Seán Ó Duibhir a'Ghleanna [Air & Set Dance]
7. Junior Crehan - The Mist Covered Mountain [Jig]
8. Junior Crehan - Caisleán an Óir [Hornpipe]
9. Patrick Kelly - Danny Mescall's [Slide]
10. Patrick Kelly - The Salamanca/The Milliner's Daughter [Reels]
11. John Kelly - The Humours of Kilclogher [Single Jig]/Elizabeth Kelly's Delight [Slip Jig]
12. Joe Ryan - The Repeal of the Union/Toss the Feathers/The Maids of Mitchelstown [Reels]
13. Junior Crehan - The Kerry Woman's Lament [Story & Air]
14. Bobby Casey - The Gallowglass/Jimmy Ward's [Jigs]
15. Patrick Kelly - Drowsy Maggie [Reel]
16. Patrick Kelly - O'Connell's Farewell to Dublin [Set Dance]
17. Patrick Kelly - The Morning Star [Reel]
18. Patrick Kelly - The Foxhunter's [Reel]
19. Patrick Kelly - Banish Misfortune [Jig]
20. Patrick Kelly - The Bucks of Oranmore [Reel]
21. Patrick Kelly - Gillian's Apples [Jig]