The Gatehouse Maid and Connecting the Phrases

This past session, Corey Walters taught us one reel–one really really good reel–called The Gatehouse Maid. I recognized it immediately, and Corey reminded me that it was on a really great album of tunes that I have by Pat O’Connor and Eoghan O’Sullivan called “Conversation at the Crosses.” I saw these two perform in Amherst last winter–a really great concert.

Along with teaching the tune, Corey used our extra time to talk about how phrases in the tune can be connected so as to keep the flow of the tune going. In this particular tune as written there’s a sort of loss of momentum at the end of certain phrases, and Corey explained to us how we can think about adding notes in these spots to keep the momentum going. Listen to the slow sample Corey played for us. Notice how midway through part A there’s a pause.

Gatehouse Maid–slow

Now, listen to Corey’s faster version. Notice where he filled in that gap with something that keeps the flow going.

Gatehouse Maid–fast

Here are a couple versions of this reel, this first by  Seán Óg Potts (son of Seán Potts). To skip to the tune in question, click here.

Here’s a blazing version paired with “Down the Broom”. You won’t want to skip anything here–


Happy practicing!


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