Recently I’ve started a series of workshops with a Connecticut based fiddle/violin instructor named Dan Foster. In addition to being a nice guy, he’s a really great fiddler, and I’m glad to have the opportunity to work with him. The whole thing comes out of a grant obtained through the Southern New England Folk and Traditional Arts Apprenticeship Program. We have had our first workshop–the second being prevented by the recent snowstorm–and I’m really optimistic about what the outcome of the whole thing will be. Dan taught me a tune called Johnny O’Leary’s, a dark and urgent jig in the key of E, dorian mode. I thought I’d share a couple examples of the tune with you here, just because it’s a great tune.
Here’s ShaneMcAleer at Custy’s in Ennis playing the tune, with a reel following.
Here’s a buncha crazy musicos, handling the tune very well indeed:
It hardly feels like winter here, or well, I should say it hardly looks like winter–there’s little snow, but the temperature is low enough. This morning as part of my second breakfast (yes, I am a giant Hobbit) I had an apple. And just two days ago I was playing the concertina and this tune, Apples in Winter, spontaneously popped out of it. So of course, I took that all as a sign that I should share this tune with the world. It’s a wonderful and not difficult jig in E dorian.
I first heard a two part version of this tune played by Edel Fox and Neill Byrne at a house concert a few years back. I have a recording so I was able to learn it. There’s also a four part version. Here are a few examples–not Edel and Neill, but good ones nonetheless. Note how there are a couple variants of the ending of both the A and B parts.
A four part:
Our pal Gilles Poutoux:
Thanks to Kira, one of our amazing anchors, we
now know a tune called The Smiling Bride. The recording of Kira playing it is of course available on the tunes page of the website, but I thought I’d share a couple YouTube examples as well. Enjoy!