An Fonn is Déanaí–Sean Reid’s Reel

Much confusion over this on my part because the version I have been listening to is on Mícheál Ó Raghallaigh’s Inside Out album but the title used there is “West Wind.” Thank the gods for, I managed to find the proper name there anyway.

Here’s a version not to be sneezed at: Mary Bergin’s!

Can’t find any others on the YouTube that I really like (Mr. Ó Raghallaigh’s isn’t there) so I’ll leave it at that. Check out the page for this tune over at HERE.

Port na Seachtaine – The Gatehouse Maid

This week for Port na Seachtaine (my tune learning and practicing endeavor on YouTube) I decided to to one from the LVISS playlist–The Gatehouse Maid. A simple tune on the surface, but as I am discovering, it really isn’t at all.

Have a look at this video of Paul O’Shaughnessy playing it in a set for Irish Traditional Music Archive. It’s the second tune. And pay close attention to his pinky! I was watching it because playing this tune would be easier if I could use the pinky instead of crossing the strings, especially in the A part. Just watch it.

An Fonn Fidle is Déanaí–Micho Russell’s Reel

I rarely hear it played at sessions, but Micho Russell’s reel is a really nice tune, very “dancy” yet very pretty at the same time, if you get my meaning. I guess what I mean is it has a lot of internal movement, but it also lingers on some notes which gives it, to my mind, that “dizzy” or “spinning” feeling. Don’t ask, that’s just how my neurons roll.

Specifically in the A part, there’s a great opportunity for a treble or roll on the G note, and this pattern repeats 6 times within each repetition. It’s fun to mix it up creatively between trebles and rolls, or to throw in a single long note in place of the triple. That’s one reason I like playing this on fiddle lately–not only is it a really great tune, but it gives lots of chances for practicing various ornaments. And boy, do I need that practice!

The B part offers plenty of chances for similar practice. Here–I’ll let Kirsten Allstaff from The Online Academy of Irish Music teach it to you:

And here’s Himself:

Plenty more on YouTube!


An Fonn Seisiúin is Déanaí–The Latest Session Tune

This past session we learned a tune called The Eel in the Sink–a reel in A mixolydian.  I’ll let you be the judge of whether the tune sounds like it’s title. Sometimes they do, sometimes they don’t. More info about the tune, ABC notation and staff notation can be found at

A couple examples. sessioners–note similarities and differences. In particular, I hear it most often played with a C# in the second bar of the B part, but you may hear different from some players.

Eel is @ 1:16, but it’s worth listening to this whole set. Fantastic musicians!


An Fonn is Déanaí–Muckross Abbey (Mulvihil’s Reel) (aka Callahan’s?)

Muckross Abbey is located in Killarney National Park, Ireland.

Muckross Abbey is located in Killarney National Park, Ireland.

Our anchor this week taught us a tune which he called “Callahan’s Reel.” This same tune is on a classic album on which Pádraig O’Keefe, Julia Clifford and Denis Murphy play lot’s of great polkas, slides, jigs and reels, as well as a few airs. Track number two is a set in which a tune called Muckross Abbey is followed by one called Mulvihil’s, both reels. One of “Muckross Abbey’s” other names is Mulvihil’s Reel–a prime example of the confusion to be found in Irish tune names!

To add to the confusion, at least my own,’s entry for this tune ( does not list “Callahan’s” as one of its names. Now, I’m pretty sure our anchor knows his stuff, so I’m just going to utter the classic “huh” and move on.

It’s a scorcher of a reel–lots of notes, lots of repetition, lots of drive. Here are a couple examples fro the “Tube of You.”

Patrick Street perform it here, third in a set. This band included one of my favorite fiddlers right now, Mr. Kevin Burke–great, great player. If the vid doesn’t do it automatically, you can find Mulvihil’s at 2:30.

Ah! Look what I found: Starts at 3:15.

And, in case you’re interested in Muckross Abbey–go HERE, and/or watch this video!

Na Foinn is Déanaí — Humours of Carrigaholt and Connie O’ Connell’s

Once in a while I become obsessed with a tune. Ok, maybe more than once in a while. More like  every week. But it’s a good thing, because I play it and listen to it over and over again until I really really know it. here’s the latest tune. Actually I have two this time, but…it’s been awhile.

First up–enjoy the Great Randall Bays playing a reel called The Humours of Carrigaholt (first tune).

And here’s a slow and easy version of Connie O’Connell’s jig (also known as Michael Dwyer’s) Follow this link to the Comhaltas website to hear Eimear Donnellan’s lovely concertina.