Friday 16 October 2009

Julia, John & Billy Clifford - The Star of Munster Trio (1977)

320 kbps

Julia, John & Billy Clifford - The Star of Munster Trio
(Topic - 12TS310 - 1977)

Recorded between 1964 and 1976 this album features fiddler Julia Clifford, sister of Denis Murphy, her husband John on accordion, and their son Billy on flute. Much of it was recorded around a single microphone in Eric and Lucy Farr's kitchen, so the sound quality isn't brilliant, but the quality of the music shines through, and Julia Clifford's playing is, as always, a thing of beauty.

1. Dublin Porter/The Mountain Lark [Reels]
2. The Lark in the Bog [Jig]
3. The Mountain Road/Paddy Cronin's [Reels]
4. The Ballydesmond/The Knocknaboul [Polkas]
5. Boil the Breakfast Early/Bunker Hill [Reels]
6. The Red-Haired Boy [Air]
7. The Crooked Road to Dublin/The Clare [Reels]
8. Bill Black's/O'Donovan's [Hornpipes]
9. John Mahinney's (Old Joe's)/The Leitrim Fancy [Jigs]
10. Grandfather's Thought/Madam if you Please [Hornpipes]
11. The Chicago [Reel]
12. Napoleon's Retreat [Set Dance]
13. Connie the Soldier/The Humours of Glin [Jigs]
14. The Palatine's Daughter [Air]
15. Jim Mac's [Hornpipe]
16. Cherish the Ladies [Jig]
17. The Harlequin [Hornpipe]
18. The Old Bush/Within a Mile of Dublin [Reels]


Mick Hanly - As I Went Over Blackwater (1982)

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Mick Hanly - As I Went Over Blackwater (Green Linnet - SIF 3007 - 1982)

The second solo album from Mick Hanly, once again excellently produced by Dónal Lunny, and featuring a number of very well-known musicians from the traditional music scene of the 1970s and 1980s, including Andy Irvine (hurdy-gurdy & voice), Seán Hanly (bodhrán), Matt Molloy (flute), Noel Hill (concertina), Paddy Glackin (fiddle), Declan Sinnot (electric guitar), and Dónal Lunny (bouzouki, synthesizer & voice). It is, if possible, even better than Hanly's first album, and his voice is absolutely magnificent. Several songs are taken from the Penguin Book of Folk Ballads, while the melodies are Hanly's own, as is the well-known 'Jessica's Polka'. The jewel of the album, however, is Hanly's epic version of 'The Dewey Dens of Yarrow'. He recorded a version of this with Mícheál Ó Domhnaill on 'Celtic Folkweave', later made famous by the Bothy Band, but this shorter version makes little sense, and as a story is entirely meaningless. Hanly took a number of versions of this song from Child, and collated them to create a meaningful narrative, put to his own music. With Matt Molloy's lovely flute accompaniment, this is a hauntingly beautiful song, as is Hanly's version of 'As I Went Over Blackwater', learnt from his grandmother, whom, he says, 'still launches into this and other assorted fragments the minute the sherry bottle is taken from the press to make the Christmas cake'. On this track Declan Sinnot's slide guitar points the way towards Hanly's evolution into a successful American folk and country artist, and the move away from traditional Irish music altogether that came shortly after this album.

1. Jack Heggarty
2. The Guerriere and the Constitution
3. Every Circumstance
4. The Dewey Dens of Yarrow
5. Miss Bailey/Jessica's [Polka]
6. I Wish My Love Was a Red, Red Rose
7. Off to California/The Plains of Boyle [Hornpipes]
8. The Scourge of the Nation
9. As I Went Over Blackwater


Tuesday 13 October 2009

John McGreevy & Séamus Cooley - McGreevy & Cooley (1974)

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John McGreevy & Séamus Cooley - McGreevy & Cooley (Philo - 2005 - 1974)

Séamus Cooley, brother of the better-known South-East Galway box player Joe, travelled with the Tulla Céilí Band in 1958 to Chicago, where he decided to remain, becoming a key figure in the Irish musical community of the city. There he met and played with Chicago-born John McGreevy, with whom he was to collaborate on this lovely unaccompanied album, recorded in 1974. There are a number of North Connaught tunes, and several sets from the 78 era, but the style of playing is more akin to the flowing sound of South-East Galway and North-West Clare than it is to the fiery and staccato style of Coleman country. The sound quality is impaired slightly by the hiss of the tape from which the rip was made, but on the whole it is reasonably good, and McGreevy's absolutely lovely playing in particular shines through.

1. The Broken Pledge/Julia Delaney [Reels]
2. Seán sa Ceo/Michael Preston's [Reels]
3. Jimmy Neary's/Jim Ward's [Jigs]
4. Down the Broom/The Gatehouse Maid [Reels]
5. Sliabh na mBan/Mo Bhuirnin Ban [Airs]
6. Seán Ryan's [Hornpipes]
7. Ginny's Favourite/The Bird in the Bush [Reels]
8. The Reel of Bogie
9. The Crooked Road to Dublin/The Moving Bog [Reels]
10. The Skylark/Roaring Mary [Reels]
11. The Plains of Boyle/The Boys of Bluehill [Hornpipes]
12. McGreevy's/Father Kelly's 2 [Reels]
13. The Lilting Banshee/The Butcher's March [Jigs[
14. Ownie Davy's/Money in Both Pockets [Reels]
15. Tim Maloney's/Cooley's [Reels]
16. The Chicago/Reidy's [Reels]
17. The Trip to Vermont [Hornpipe]


Tommy Peoples - An Exciting Session with one of Ireland's Leading Traditional Fiddlers (1976)

320 kbps

Tommy Peoples - An Exciting Session with one of Ireland's Leading Traditional Fiddlers (Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann - CL 13 - 1976)

Tommy Peoples' first commercial album, recorded live between October 1974 and January 1976. On several tracks there is a very quiet guitar accompaniment, provided by Finian de Brun, but much of the music is entirely unaccompanied, except for occasional outbursts from an understandably excited audience. The playing is truly magnificent, and while several sets will be familiar from other recordings Tommy made in the 1970s, the sheer exuberance and technical precision is rarely matched on any of his other albums. Particularly excelllent here are the versions of 'The Green Hills of Tyrol' and 'The Green Fields of Glentown', while 'Jenny's Welcome to Charlie' is an absolutely superb rendition, played with all the Donegal fire and brilliance for which Tommy Peoples so rightly became famous. Yet another wonderful recording that has yet to be re-released on CD. Unfortunately, due to spindle wear on the LP there is a small amount of tonal distortion on the last tracks of this rip.

1. Jackson's/The Oak Tree [Reels]
2. Port na bPúcaí [Air]
3. The Salamanca/Lucy Campbell [Reels]
4. Doctor O'Neill [Jig]
5. The Green Hills of Tyrol [Reel]
6. Mulqueeney's [Hornpipe]
7. Jenny's Welcome to Charlie [Reel]
8. Farewell to Ireland [Air & Reel]
9. O'Callaghan's/Galway Bay [Hornpipes]
10. The Green Fields of Glentown [Reel]
11. Bovaglies Plaid [Air]/The Highlander's Farewell [Strathspey]/The Boyne Hunt [Reel]
12. The Bank of Ireland/The Shaskeen [Reels]
13. The Geese in the Bog [Jig]
14.McCahill's/Danny Meehan's [Reels]


Monday 12 October 2009

The Mountain Top (1976)

320 kbps

The Mountain Top (Comhaltas Ceoltórí Éireann - CL14 - 1976)

Bobby Gardiner – Accordion
Roger Sherlock – Flute
Geordie Hanna – Voice
Vincent Broderick – Flute
Paddy Fallon – Bodhrán
Cáit Ní Chuis – Fiddle
Jim McGreevy – Accordion
Anne Mulqueen – Voice
Jim McKillop – Fiddle
Peter Carbery – Pipes
Kevin Taylor - Piano

A recording made by the musicians on the CCÉ tour of the USA in 1976. Unfortunately the production is entirely inadequate, and considerable wear on the LP from which the rip was made compounds the existing sound quality issues. However, there are some interesting selections, including three Vincent Broderick compositions played by the East Galway flute player himself, and a nice version of 'The Maid Behind the Bar' played by Antrim fiddler, Jim McKillop.

1. Bobby Gardiner – The Mountain Top/Sporting Nell [Reels]
2. Roger Sherlock – Tripping to the Well/The Kiss Behind the Door [Polkas]
3. Geordie Hanna – Caroline of Edinburgh Town [Song]
4. Vincent Broderick & Paddy Fallon – The Rainbow's End/The Crock of Gold [Reels]
5. Cáit Ní Chus – The Lament for Staker Wallace [Air]
6. Jimmmy McGreevy – The Musical Priest/The Concert [Reels]
7. Roger Sherlock & Paddy Falon – The Dairymaid/The Old Blackthorn/O'Keeffe's Plough/Callaghan's [Reels]
8. Jimmy McGreevy – The Old Grey Goose [Jig]
9. Céilí Band – Down the Broom/The Gatehouse Maid [Reels]
10. Anne Mulqueen – My Blue-Eyed Mountain Queen [Song]
11. Jim McKillop – Jimmy McBride's [Reel]
12. Vincent Broderick & Paddy Fallon – The Spider's Web [Jig]
13. Peter Carbery – The Chattering Magpie/Gerry Commane's Favourite [Reels]


Mick Hanly - A Kiss in the Morning Early (1976)

320 kbps

Mick Hanly - A Kiss in the Morning Early (Mulligan - LUN 005 - 1976)

This is the first solo album from Mick Hanly, in my opinion one of the best and most under-rated interpreters of traditional songs of the entire 1970s Irish revival. All the songs are taken from Colm Ó Lochlainn's second book 'More Irish Street Ballads', with the exception of Hanly's own cracking little composition 'The Reluctant Pirate'. Hanly's sweet tenor is well reproduced with the aid of Dónal Lunny and Mícheál Ó Domhnaill's admirably crisp production, with his skill as a traditional singer made particularly apparent on the unaccompanied track 'Song of Repentance'. He is joined by a number of musicians crucial to the 1970s Irish revival, including Paddy Glackin (fiddle), Triona Ni Dhomnaill (harpsichord), Rick Epping (concertina), Peter Brown (pipes), Matt Molloy (flute), and of course Dónal Lunny (bouzouki).

1. Farewell Dearest Nancy
2. The Merchant's Daughter
3. My Johnny was a Shoemaker
4. Song of Repentance
5. Rosemary Fair
6. A Kiss in the Morning Early
7. An tSean Bhean Bhocht [Hornpipe]
8. The Verdant Braes of Screen
9. Cod Liver Oil
10. The Reluctant Pirate


Friday 9 October 2009

Paddy Carty & Conor Tully - Traditional Music of Ireland (1985)

Paddy Carty & Conor Tully with Frank Hogan - Traditional Music of Ireland
(Trad Ireland - TradCD 002 - 2009)

Although this doesn't technically qualify as a 'rare recording', it most certainly qualifies as ceol álainn. Originally released by GTD on cassette in 1989, this spellbinding album was recorded shortly before Paddy Carty's death, and it truly is one of the great flute and fiddle albums. Carty's flowing East Galway sound is perfectly complemented by Tully's rich and lyrical playing, and Hogan's mandola accompaniment is consistently tasteful and sympathetic. This really is an incredible recording of the rich, lonesome sound of East Galway, and I cannot recommend it enough.

You can listen to Carty & Tully play 'Molly Bawn & Ryan's Rant' on the Trad Ireland website, where you can also buy the album, direct from the manufacturers.

You can also hear them play 'Come West Along the Road', and buy the album from Custy's Music.

You can hear extracts from 'Ryan's Rant' and 'Brian O'Lynn' at Claddagh Records, where you can also buy the album.

In the USA it is possible to buy the album from Copperplate Distribution, and they provide extracts from the tunes 'Red Tom of the Hills', 'Dowd's Favourite', and 'Galway Bay'. Copperplate have also posted the CD liner notes, and reproduced a press review by Earle Hitchner, originally printed in The Irish Echo.

Another source to buy the album in the USA is Celtic Grooves, and you can also buy the album from Ossian USA.

Wednesday 7 October 2009

Denis Doody - Kerry Music (1978)

256 kbps

Denis Doody - Kerry Music (Mulligan - LUN 019 - 1978)

Denis Doody, born in Ballinahulla near Ballydesmond, was the grandson of the fiddler and contemporary of Pádraig O'Keeffe, Din Tarrant. He remembers hearing Pádraig O'Keeffe and Tom Billy play when he was a child, but it was the accordion that he picked up, largely teaching himself, and mostly playing alone. He emigrated to England when he finished school, settling in London until his return to Ireland in 1964, when he struck up acquaintance with Johnny O'Leary and Denis Murphy. These players were to influence his playing enormously as he returned to the music of his home region, though for ornamental intricacy and rhythmic deftness he is, in my opinion, unmatched within the old-style Sliabh Luachra accordion tradition. This absolutely cracking unaccompanied album speaks volumes of his sheer virtuosity and unrivalled lightness of touch.

1. Johnny Cope's/Din Tarrant's [Polkas]
2. The Glen Cottage/Baile an tSamhraidh [Slides]
3. Terry Teahan's/Cousins Delight [Polkas]
4. The Ballinahulla polkas
5. Nehyl's fiddle/O'Mahony's [Hornpipes]
6. The Scart/Going to the Well for Water [Slides]
7. The Priest/The Barna [Slides]
8. Denis Murphy's/Lacha Cross [Polkas]
9. The Munster/Kitty's Wedding [Jigs]
10. Well I Know What Kitty Wants/The Brosna [Slides]
11. The Tourniore Lass/Johnny O'Leary's [Polkas]
12. The Quarry Cross/Abbey's Green Isle [Slides]
13. The Lonesome Road to Dingle/The Man from Glauntaun [Slides]
14. The Green Cottage 1/The Munster Bank [Polkas]
15. Callaghan's/The Kaiser [Slides]
16. Johnny Cope [Hornpipe]
17. The Blackwater Polkas
18. The Gallant Tipperary Boys/This is My Love, Do You Like Her? [Slides]
19. Tureengarbh Glen/The green Cottage 2 [Polkas]
20. Box the Monkey/The House in the Glen [Jigs]
21. The Groves of Gneenveguilla/Jack Reedy's [Polkas]
22. Chase Me Charlie/Kiely Cotter's [Slides]
23. The Gullane/Jimmy Doyle's Favourite [Polkas]


Tuesday 6 October 2009

Bobby Casey - Taking Flight (1979)

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Bobby Casey - Taking Flight (Mulligan - LUN 018 - 1979)

'Taking Flight' is an absolute classic. Recorded in 1977, this is the one and only commercially-available studio album made by the master fiddler from West Clare. Kevin Crehan has written an interesting essay on Casey, which you can read here, and there is a little more information on the CCÉ website, here. It is difficult to do justice to Casey's absolute mastery of the instrument: the complexity of his ornamentation, intonation, rhythmic control, the deftness of his improvisation, and simultaneously, his absolute fidelity to the melody of the dance tune or air. This is one of the best fiddle albums ever recorded.

1. Tuttle's/The Ragged Hank of Yarn [Reels]
2. Seán Ó Duibhir a Ghleanna [Set Dance]
3. Rakish Paddy [Reel]
4. The Drunken Gauger [Set Dance]
5. Down the Back Lane/Donnybrook Fair/Scully Casey's [Jigs]
6. The Graf Spey [Reel]
7. Poll Ha'penny [Hornpipe]
8. The Porthole of the Kelp/The Connaught Heifer [Reels]
9. The Dear Irish Boy [Air]
10. The Garden of Daisies [Set Dance]
11. The Nightingale/The Pipe on the Hob [Jigs]
12. The Old Bush/My Love is in America [Reels]


John Doonan - Flute for the Feis (1972)

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John Doonan - Flute for the Feis (Leader - LEA 2043 - 1972)

A lovely album from piccolo player John Doonan, accompanied by Henry Eglington (accordion), Phil Murray (acoustic bass), and Dave Price (piano). You can have a listen to one of Doonan's sets over on the Folk Archive Resource North East (FARNE) website. Doonan, from Hebburn (which is definitely NOT in Newcastle-Upon-Tyne), was All-Ireland and world piccolo champion, and played at Fiesanna and festivals the world over, competing and providing music for dance competitions, a fact that accounts for the preponderance of Set Dance tunes on this recording, and for the lovely Sean Nós dance steps that can be heard on track 10. Track 14 is an interesting example of Murray's lively bass playing, and pretty funky stuff considering how traditional is Doonan's North Connaught-influenced style of playing. All in all this album is a surprising little gem.

1. Seán Maguire's/The Banshee [Reels]
2. The Hunt [Set Dance]
3. Smash the Windows/Off She Goes [Single Jigs]
4. Bonaparte's Retreat [Set Dance]
5. The Sport of the Chase [Slip Jig]
6. The Flowers of Antrim/The Quarrelsome Piper [Hornpipes]
7. The Coolin [Air]
8. The Fermoy Lasses/Sporting Paddy/The Dawn [Reels]
9. The Ace and Deuce of Piping [Set Dance]
10. Saddle the Pony/Shandon Bells [Jigs]
11. The Little Heathy Hill [Set Dance]
12. The King of the Fairies [Set Dance]
13. Eileen Aroon [Air]
14. Bonnie Kate/Jenny's Chickens [Reels]


Monday 5 October 2009

Kevin Taylor - Irish Traditional Music (1978)

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Kevin Taylor with Mary Conroy - Irish Traditional Music
(Inchecronin - INC 7418 - 1978)

A very interesting album, not least for Taylor's skill on the accordion, but particularly for his somewhat virtuosic interpretations of dance tunes on the piano, which are very lovely indeed. Taylor learned his music first from his father, the great West Limerick flute player Paddy Taylor, then from playing with the likes of Roger Sherlock and Seán Maguire at sessions in pubs such as the King's Head in Fulham Broadway. He was immersed in the music from a young age, and while he claimed to have started on the piano due to 'the musical laziness inherent amongst the Taylors', his mastery of the music on that particular instrument really needs to be heard to be believed.

1. The Gooseberry Bush/The Cup of Tea [Reels]
2. Katie Taylor's/Paddy Taylor's [Reels]
3. Eileen Curran/The Sandymount [Reels]
4. The Tailor's Twist [Hornpipe]
5. The Cook in the Kitchen/Sixpenny Money [Jigs]
6. The Garden of Daisies [Set Dance]
7. The Dogs Among the Bushes/The Fisherman's Island [Reels]
8. Con Curtin's Twins/The Knights of St. Patrick [Jigs]
9. Within a Mile of Dublin/Johnny Allan's [Reels]
10. The Colliers [Jig]/The Colliers [Reel]
11. The Boys of the Lough [Reel]
12. Paddy O'Brien's/Paddy O'Brien's [Jigs]
13. The Job of Journeywork [Set Dance]
14. The Pinch of Snuff/The Flax in Bloom [Reels]
15. Lady Gordon/Mary McMahon [Reels]
16. Aggie Whyte's/The Bloom of Youth [Reels]


Mick Hanly & Mícheál Ó Dhomhnaill - Celtic Folkweave (1974)

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Mick Hanly & Mícheál Ó Dhomhnaill - Celtic Folkweave
(Polydor - 2908 013 - 1974)

An excellent album (despite the appalling title) and a precursor to Ó Dhomhnaill's work with the Bothy Band and Nightnoise. A number of the tracks will be familiar to fans of the Bothy Band, including 'The Hag at the Churn', 'An Bothán A Bhaigh Fionnghuala', 'The Banks of Claudy', and 'The Heathery Hills of Yarrow'. The album was produced by Dónal Lunny, and it would seem that he learned from some of the mistakes he made in the studio this time round. Track 10 in particular is a terribly bad mix, but on the whole the production is adequate, though it's certainly not up to the standard of the material he was producing just a year later. It would seem that the master tapes of this recording were destroyed in a fire at the headquarters of Polydor Ireland some time in the 1970s, and subsequently this album has never been re-released. It features a number of big guns from the 1970s scene, including several members of Planxty, and future members of the Bothy Band:

Mick Hanly – Guitar/Dulcimer/Voice
Mícheál Ó Dhomhnaill – Guitar/Voice
Liam O'Flynn – Pipes/Whistle
Dónal Lunny – Bodhrán
Matt Mollloy – Flute
Tommy Peoples – Fiddle
Declan McNeils – Bass
Triona Ní Dhomhnaill – Harpsichord

There are two pieces of mouth music in both Irish and Gàidhlig, songs in Irish and English, two Breton tunes, and only one Irish dance tune. 'No Love is Sorrow' was composed by the original members of Pentangle, and appears on their album 'Solomon's Seal'.

1. Bíodh Orm Anocht [Puirt-a-beul]/The Hag at the Churn [Single Jig]
2. The Bold Princess Royal [Song]
3. The Banks of Claudy [Song]
4. Éirigh's Ciur Ort Do Chuid Éadaigh [Song]
5. The Glasgow Barber [Song]
6. Songbird (No Love is Sorrow) [Song]
7. The Heathery Hills of Yarrow [Song]
8. Gan Ainm/Gan Ainm [An Droiou]
9. The Hiring Fair at Hamiltownsbawn [Song]
10. Bríd Óg Ní Mháille [Song]
11. An Bothán A Bhaigh Fionnghuala [Puirt-a-beul]


Saturday 3 October 2009

The Home I Left Behind (1974)

320 kbps

The Home I Left Behind (Comhaltas Ceoltórí Éireann - CL9 - 1974)

Bobby Gardiner – Accordion
Peg McGrath – Flute
Paddy Berry – Voice
Deirdre Collins – Whistle
Marie Grimes – Voice
Brendan McGlinchey – Fiddle
Dónal de Barra – Accordion/Whistle
Anne Mulqueen – Voice
Pádraig Ó hlarnáin – Accordion
Eugene Nolan – Flute
Denis Ryan – Fiddle
Gabriel McKeon – Pipes
Brendán Mac Eachráin - Piano

A recording made by the musicians from the CCÉ tour of the USA in 1974. Paddy Berry is on form, though betraying signs of a slight cold that adds to his already nasal style, and his song is a favourite in Wexford, his particular treatment having set the mould for many of the younger generation of traditional singers from that part of the country. Other tracks of interest are the slides, played by Dónal de Barra on whistle rather than accordion, the beautiful air played by Eugene Nolan, and the fiddling of Denis Ryan and Brendan McGlinchey, who plays a fiery version of the 'Star of Munster' in G instead of the usual key of A.

1. Bobby Gardiner – The Dublin Reel/Rip the Calico [Reels]
2. Peg McGrath – The Castlebar Races/Old Tipperary [Jigs]
3. Paddy Berry – Balllyshannon Lane [Song]
4. Deirdre Collis – MacDermott's/Moloney's Favourite [Reels]
5. Marie Grimes – An Buachaill Caol Dubh [Song]
6. Céilí Band – The Cook in the Kitchen/Whelan's [Jigs]
7. Brendan McGlinchey – The Salamanca/The Star of Munster [Reels]
8. Ceilí Band – Lucy Campbell/The Jolly Tinker [Reels]
9. Dónal de Barra – The Tidy Girleen/The Templeglantine [Slides]
10. Anne Mulqueen – The Home I left Behind [Song]
11. Pádraig Ó hlarnáin – The Bunch of Keys [Reel]
12. Eugene Nolan – Caoine an Spailpin [Air]
13. Denis Ryan – Reevey's [Hornpipe]
14. Gabriel McKeon – The Gander in the Pratie Hole/Sixpenny Money [Jigs]


Martin Mulvihill - Traditional Irish Fiddling from County Limerick (1978)

320 kbps

Martin Mulvihill with Mick Moloney - Traditional Irish Fiddling from County Limerick (Green Linnet - SIF 1012 - 1978)

An absolute gem of an album, and a real testament to the magic and beauty of the old West Limerick fiddle style. I first got to know of Martin Mulvihill's playing through the music of another absolutely fantastic West Limerick fiddler, Diarmuid O'Brien, whose album 'Cairde Cairdín' is in my opinion one of the best fiddle albums of the last ten years, and another reminder of the wonderful musical heritage of the region. He acknowledges Martin Mulvihill as probably the greatest single influence on his music. The sweet tone and fluidity of the West Limerick fiddle style, as well as its absolute rhythmic solidity, seems distinct from the more heavily accented sound of the wider Sliabh Luachra region, with which the music of West Limerick shares a number of stylistic features, as well as a great deal of the repertoire. Although Martin Mulvihill spent most of his life abroad in England and the USA, he retained the regional style in which he was immersed as a young player for the rest of his life. There are a few releases featuring Mulvihill tracks, including the Rounder Records compilation 'Celtic Winds', which you can listen to here. Mulvihill released two teaching tapes, and another lovely album entitled 'The Humours of Glin', also on cassette. These can be purchased from Global Village Music via iTunes, but be warned, the recording quality is very poor, and whoever made the transfer made an absolute balls of the levels, resulting in considerable distortion. This, it would, seem, is characteristic of Michael Schlesinger's cavalier attitude towards the rights of both his consumers and the artists he is contracted to represent.

1. The Road to Abbeyfeale/Lord Kitchener's Pipes [Jigs]
2. The High Road to Glin/The Low Road to Glin [Reels]
3. Limerick is Beautiful [Air]
4. Paddy Scanlon's/Buddy Furey's/The Kinard [Polkas]
5. McAuliffe's/Maggie Shanley's/Denis Enright's [Slides]
6. Flynn's (Behind the Ditch in Páirc Anna)/Dillane's [Hornpipes]
7. Bridget Flynn's/The Star of Munster [Reels]
8. The Rathcrogan (The Floating Crowbar)/The Bag of Spuds/O'Connell's Trip to Parliament [Reels]
9. The Pride of Moyvan/The Cross at the Wood [Reels]
10. Breen's/The Hangman's Rope [Hornpipes]
11. The Ballyloughlin/Seán Duine Dóite [Jigs]
12. Mulhaire's/The Morning Mist [Reels]
13. The Vales of New Direen [Air]
14. The Queen of the Fair/Langstrom's Pony [Jigs]
15. Con Mullane's/Dando Dillane's (The Banks of the Ilen) [Reels]
16. Wallace's Cross/Tarmon's/Pat Enright's [Polkas]


Thursday 1 October 2009

Bobby Casey - BBC Archive Recordings (1966-71)

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Bobby Casey - BBC Archive Recordings (1966-71)

These are a number of tracks recorded by Reg Hall and Bill Leader between 1966 and 1971 as part of an album project that sadly never came to fruition. Of the 137 tracks in the archive, 18 have been released on the Bow Hand label on an album entitled 'The Spirit of West Clare', a recording that is becoming increasingly difficult to locate. Veteran seem to be one of the few companies in England with copies in stock, and in the USA it can be purchased here, from Ossian USA and Celtic Grooves Imports. The remaining tracks include duets with Andy O'Boyle, Tommy McCarthy, an unidentified accordion player, and an unidentified flute player. The tracks I have included here feature Bobby Casey playing solo fiddle, and singing a fine old ballad 'Sweet Inniscarra', and the duet material will follow. I have avoided repeating any of the tracks that found their way onto the Bow Hand release, which is, of course, the pick of the bunch, and I would absolutely urge anyone with an interest in this music to buy the album without delay. Particularly interesting tune selections here include the set dances 'Jockey to the Fair', and 'The Three Sea Captains', two Connaught polkas, the 'Dublin Reel' played in G, and the well-known Clare tune 'The Cliffs of Moher', also played in the unusual key of G major.

The image of Bobby Casey I have used is taken from a lovely painting by the artist Jane Ridout, whose work can be viewed here.

Once again, thanks to KR for this material. It's very much appreciated...

1.The Ragged Hank of Yarn/The Dublin Reel/The Woman of the House [Reels]
2. The Three Sea Captains [Set Dance]
3. The College Groves/Colonel Frasier [Reels]
4. Bantry Bay [Hornpipe]
5. The Cliffs of Moher/Brian O'Lynn [Jigs]
6. Mother's Delight/Jenny's Welcome to Charlie [Reels]
7. The Banks of the Suir [Air]
8. Sheehan's/The High Reel[Reels]
9. The Stranger [Hornpipe]/Rodney's Glory [Set Dance]
10. Cherish the Ladies/The Maid in the Meadow/Fasten the Legging/Coleman's Cross [Jigs]
11. Martin Wynne's 2/The Moving Bog/Jenny's Chickens/The Reel of Mullinavat [Reels]
12. Memories of Ballymote/Gurteen Cross [Polkas]
13. The Roscommon Reel/The Hare in the Heather [Reels]
14. Chief O'Neill's Favourite/The Rights of Man [Hornpipes]
15. The Dunmore Lasses/Gilbert Clancy's/The College Groves [Reels]
16. Sweet Inniscarra [Song]
17. Jockey to the Fair [Set Dance]
18. The Sunshine Hornpipe/The Cuckoo [Hornpipes]
19. The Liffey Banks/The Boys of Ballisodare/The Woman of the House/Tansey's/The Graf Spey/Ballinasloe Fair [Reels]