Táim Ciaptha ag an bPort seo le Déanaí

The Humours of Lisadell. It’s a reel with lovely, almost elegant, easy movement. It has such a nice shape to it. That doesn’t mean it’s easy to play though! I first heard it (to my memory) at a house concert featuring Edel Fox on concertina and Neill Byrne on fiddle. Here’s a link to the recording I made of the tune. Feel free to download that.

Here’s Neill and Edel playing it live again, with Josh Dukes on guitar, and much better audio:

A tin whistle version:




Edel Fox and Neill Byrne–Definitely Not Bored and Definitely Not “Whoever”

(If the title of this post confuses you–read to the end. All shall be revealed. And–this is a long one–be sure to click the link to continue reading.)

In the world of Irish traditional music, there aren’t the sort of performers that the rest of the world would consider “superstars”, the way you’d think of Michael Jackson, Kurt Cobain, or Neil Diamond as such. (or maybe YOU wouldn’t!) The world of ITM is much less assuming that that. The musicians who play the music are for the most part seemingly not in it for the money, or fame, but rather for the “craic agus comhluadar,” or “good times and good friends,” and foremost for the music itself.

edel and neill

Neill and Edel play blazing tunes!

So the world may not consider Edel Fox and Neill Byrne superstars, but they may have something that many so-called superstars do not have–a true and deep connection to music itself. They may for the most part be playing the compositions of others, but the depth of emotion and expression that they elicit from these often simple jigs and reels is on par with or surpassing so much of the original expression I have heard. To be able to squeeze the humanity and feeling from a simple tune is part of what Irish musicianship is all about, and Edel Fox and Neill Byrne do it so well that the result was easily visible on the faces of all who were in attendance at the house concert they put on in Fairfield, CT this past Friday, August 16th. Feet were tapping and ears were buzzing, and we all took something really amazing home with us as well.

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