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!

LVBISession Tunes–The Chaffpool Post and Tommy Peoples’ Mazurka


Fine examples of the tunes we learned at our last session, thanks to Ben for teaching us tunes in the “other” category!

The Chaffpool Post barn dance (also known as James Gannon’s)–

Gannon’s starts at 1:16–

Tommy Peoples’–also known as John Doherty’s (another great Donegal fiddler)–is harder to find–

A play through after the lesson begins at about 1:18–

On accordion, and played with a little flair–

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!

New tunes and tune requests

NEW TUNES are up on the website! Two reels–Far From Home, and The Boyne Hunt. Nice one TJ, thanks for those.

Also, I asked each person to write two tunes they’d like to work on, requests, if you will, and here’s what we have so far:

Primrose Lass
Roscommon Reel
Na Ceannabhain Bána (slipjig)
The Whinney Hills of Leitrim (slipjig)
The Butterfly (slipjig)

and a general request for more slides, polkas, and slipjigs

Leave a comment with your own suggestions! I recommended Paddy Cronin’s slide as an unofficial third. :D