Thursday 1 October 2009

Bobby Casey - BBC Archive Recordings (1966-71)

128 kbps

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]



  1. Another source for rare recordings of ITM in the US is Celtic Grooves Imports in Maryland.

    The polkas and playing the Dublin in G are both from the Sligo tradition. G was also the key for that tune in 19th century tunebooks, and Edison studio violinist recorded it on a wax cylinder in 1903: Internet Archive: Free Download: Charles D' Alamine-11-20. Select Jim Lawson's Medley of reels; he also plays the reel Miss Johnson, and these are the earliest recordings of these popular tunes.

  2. Howdy!

    Re availability of Spirit of West Clare: I ordered the CD on line from HMV (who advertised it at £9.99)but after four weeks was advised that my order couldn't be completed. So I tried Amazon, where it is available from a number of sources, including Amazon itself for £12.69. It's playing as I type - and is indeed every bit as fine as has been reported.


    jim gillan