Sunday 13 December 2009

Seán McGuire - Irish Traditional Fiddling (1969)

320 kbps

Seán McGuire, Roger Sherlock & Josephine Keegan - Irish Traditional Fiddling (Outlet - SOLP 1002 - 1969)

One of the vast numbers of recordings made by the Ulster fiddle maestro and innovator Seán McGuire, and re-released on CD shortly before the collapse of the Outlet label in 2004. Here he is accompanied by the wonderful composer and piano accompanist Josephine Keegan, and as an added bonus there are two tracks by the sligo flute player Roger Sherlock. McGuire's classically-inspired style is not for everyone, but it is difficult to be entirely unimpressed by the sheer virtuosity of his technical prowess, and both McGuire and Sherlock are masters of the unexpected variation, bringing lovely innovations and surprising intervals to well-known tunes. This rip was made from what was obviously a much-played LP and subsequently the sound quality has deteriorated somewhat, generating a small amount of distortion in the upper frequencies.

1. Speed the Plough/Tom Ward's Downfall [Reels]
2. Reavy's/The Ravelled Hank of Yarn [Reels]
3. Casadh an tSugain (Twisting the Hay Rope) [Air]
4. Slievenamon [Hornpipe]
5. The Duke of Leinster/The Duke of Leinster's Wife [Reels]
6. The Boy in his Pants [Jig]
7. The Dairymaid/The Holy Land [Reels]
8. Jackie Coleman's/Roger's Fancy [Reels]
9. The Gold Ring [Jig]
10. Se Fearr Mo Mhuire [Air]
11. Andy McGann's/The Humours of Scarriff [Reels]
12. Mama's Pet/Mama's Pet [Reels]
13. The Banks [Hornpipe]
14. The Humours of Ennistymon/Brendan Tonra's [Jigs]

Forthcoming digital re-release...

Saturday 12 December 2009

Cathal McConnell & Robin Morton - An Irish Jubilee (1970)

320 kbps

Cathal McConnell & Robin Morton - An Irish Jubilee (Topic - 12T290 - 1976)

An unusual album from two of the original members of The Boys of the Lough, recorded in 1969, about two years before the band was formed. Many of the ballads have their origins in Ulster, home of both McConnell and Morton, who are from Fermanagh and Antrim respectively. This album, with arrangements of flute, concertina, whistle, voice and bodhrán, will not be to everybody's taste, but there are a number of fine songs, as well as many lovely tunes, the most interesting of which is 'The Blue Angel', a composition of the Belfast pianist Liam King, and a tune which has in recent years re-emerged as a session tune under the title of 'The Flying Crowbar'.

1. Nil se 'na La (It's Not Yet Day) [Air]/The Humours of Winnington [Jig]
2. The Hiring Fair at Hamiltownsbawn [Song]
3. Three out of One [Hornpipe/Jig/Reel]
4. Matt Hyland [Song]
5. The Dusty Miller/McDermott's [Slip Jigs]
6. On the Banks of a River Near Blackwatertown [Song]
7. McNamara's (Connie O'Connell's)/The Blue Angel (King's Fancy) [Jigs]
8. The Gauger's Song
9. Gather Round the Fire/Brereton's [Reels]
10. Mary from Murroogh [Song]
11. Tiocfaidh an Samhradh agus Fairsing Feir (Summer Will Come with Plenty of Hay) [Air]/Planxty Reynolds [Waltz]
12. Thousands are Sailing to Amerikay [Song]
13. Caoineadh Ui Dhomnaill (Lament for O'Donnell) [Air]
14. The Irish Jubilee [Song]/The Glass of Beer/The Longford [Reels]