Bunker Hill

Oi, almost two months since my last post! I am so sorry…

Well here’s one for you–

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The West Clare Railway, Revisited

I have blogged about this reel in the past, but I thought it’d be nice to revisit the railway, as I have recently found it departing my fiddle quite a bit lately. I’ve also heard a new version or two of it since then. Also I should note the tune was written by Junior Crehan.

This first is from one of the albums currently in heavy rotation in my collection–great playing here by Joey Abarta (pipes,) Nathan Gourley (fiddle,) and accompanied by Owen Marshall:

A new one to me:

 

Enjoy!

The Crib of Perches

Man, some tunes have the most enigmatic names, but you find out it’s nothing like you thought. The Crib of Perches (or The Creel of Perches) immediately makes me think of a baby’s crib full of dripping, desperate fish gasping for breath. But no. One person commenting on thesession.org page for this tune says,

A fish “crib” is a place in a lake, river, or stream where fish may hang out feeding or resting. It may be a patch of aquatic grasses, a tangle of fallen, submerged tree trunks or roots, or submerged rock formations. A crib is where an angler might have a good chance of catching a meal.

Darn. I like my version better. But then, I’m no good at fishing.

Anyway it’s a lovely tune in the key of D mixolydian, and I highly recommend you take a listen to these few versions I found on the YouTube:

The version that started it all (for me!) From a great album by Nathan Gourley and Laura Feddersen called Life is all Checkered (which is another good tune!)–

I have no idea who this fella is, but he’s a good fiddle and box player, so have a listen:

And finally, a lovely, lively version by fiddler John McEvoy and flute player John Wynne.

 

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:

 

 

 

The Mountain Road

There’s Something so satisfying about this reel. The rolling, bouncy A part is like the rhythm of walking on a crisp, sunny morning on hard packed dirt through the woods. The B part speaks of cresting a rise to see the valley spread out below, or laughter as it echoes off the trees. Ted taught us a two part version of this tune–the most common version–at the last session, but our member Mary swore she had heard a 3 part version somewhere. She found it here:

Good on ya, Mary! Ted’s splendid version can be downloaded at the tunes page. Enjoy!

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 thesession.org, 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 thesession.org 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.