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Tag: fiddle

Remembering Paddy Fahey

Saturday, 8 June, 2019

Just getting around now to paying tribute to the East Galway fiddle player and tune composer Paddy Fahey, who died aged 102 years on Friday, 31 May. Fahey didn’t give his compositions names, instead they are simply called “Paddy Fahey’s Jig No.1”, “Paddy Fahey’s Reel No.2”, “Paddy Fahey’s Hornpipe No.3” and so on. He never made a commercial recording, nor did he publish a book of his compositions, but Paddy Fahey’s music, with its beautiful yearning feel, lives on in the playing of Liz and Yvonne Kane.


James Delarre & Saul Rose

Wednesday, 25 July, 2018

Cabin Fever is the title of the debut album by James Delarre and Saul Rose. Here, the English folk duo play Sauter Lapin and Freca, two tunes with lots of Cajun touches. Fiddle and melodeon in perfect harmony in this set.


Peadar O’Loughlin, RIP

Tuesday, 24 October, 2017 1 Comment

Born in the parish of Kilmaley in County Clare on 6 November 1929, Peadar O’Loughlin was a traditional musician’s musician. He happily shared his tunes with a younger generation, typified by Ronan Browne and Maeve Donnelly, eager to learn a style that was sparsely ornamented but powerfully rhythmic, and his playing, on fiddle, flute and pipes, reflected a gentle, generous personality that will be very much missed.


The Boy in the Boat

Monday, 20 February, 2017 0 Comments

The excellent fiddler Fergal Scahill, who plays with We Banjo 3, decided he’d record a tune a day for the whole of 2017. Last week in Reykjavik, on Day 46 of the project, he played a reel titled The Boy in the Boat, also known as An Buachaill Sa Mbád.

A blues song with the title The Boy in the Boat was recorded in 1930 by George Hannah, who has been honoured for his contribution to “queer music” by The Pop-Up Museum of Queer History. The title of the tune/song is an anatomical allusion with sexual connotations and the lyrics go like this:

Now, did you ever hear the story ’bout that boy in a boat,
Don’t wear no shoes or no overcoat.
Broad told me that it happened like this.
He love to dive and also to fish.
He went roaming in that shallow boat.
With his head hardly rising and his eyes hard to cope.
Face is all wrinkled and his breath smells like soap.
Talking about that boy in the boat.


Detroit and Buffalo and beyond

Saturday, 21 November, 2015 0 Comments

Her vocals have been compared to those of Dolly Parton; her songwriting to that of Tom Waits. David Menconi wrote in Spin that she sings “like an earthbound Emmylou Harris.” After her parents divorced, Amanda Shires divided her childhood between the Texas cities of Lubbock and Mineral Wells, and it was in a pawn shop in Mineral Wells that she got her first fiddle at the age of ten. From there on, there was no doubt about where she was going. Since then, she’s been to Detroit and Buffalo and beyond. Her husband, Jason Isbell, is scheduled to play at La Maroquinerie in Paris, France, on 18 January. Memories of the Bataclan will still be vivid, but the music must go on.


And the merry love the fiddle

Saturday, 17 January, 2015 0 Comments

As well as playing the fiddle, Toner Quinn has numerous strings to his bow. Together with Benedict Schlepper-Connolly and Simon Doyle, he publishes the award-winning Journal of Music, and he gives lectures, talks and concerts at home and abroad. Galway was the venue for this splendid performance with Malachy Bourke and Brian Bourke.

“For the good are always the merry,
Save by an evil chance,
And the merry love the fiddle
And the merry love to dance.”

The Fiddler of Dooney, William Butler Yeats


The essential sound of Carrie Rodriguez

Saturday, 1 February, 2014 0 Comments

This is going to be a big year for Carrie Rodriguez, the Austin-based singer-songwriter and fiddle player, who’s just completed a live collaboration with guitarists Bill Frisell and Buddy Miller at New York’s Lincoln Center, where they rejuvenated the seminal country-and-western songs that were recorded at those historic sessions in 1927 in Bristol, Tennessee, by Jimmie Rodgers and the Carter Family.


Henry Flynt: obscure, genius musician

Saturday, 9 March, 2013 0 Comments

“Near the conclusion of ‘Hillbilly Jive,’ the composer goes into a bit of high-pitched violin playing that is amazingly evocative, bringing to mind the sounds of traditional Appalachian hollerin’, heard at a great distance.” The violin/fiddle player in question here is the American philosopher Henry Flynt, “a composer of the post-Cage school who quickly turned completely against modernist music and created his own Flynt genres, primarily through radicalizing Southern musical forms like Bluegrass, Country, and Country Blues-elevating them to an enchanted level, much as Coltrane did with the jazz of his time.” So declares UbuWeb, which has put a treasure trove of Flynt’s music online. This is the sublime You Are My Everlovin’.


Karrnnel has style

Saturday, 19 January, 2013 0 Comments

Last February, Vogue magazine published a piece of puffery titled “A Rose in the Desert” about Syria’s first lady, Asma al-Assad. Written by Joan Juliet Buck, with photographs by star snapper James Nachtwey, the fawning article praised the Assads as a “wildly democratic” couple who had made Syria the “safest country in the Middle East.” A year later, Vogue returns to form with with Storm Troupers, a fashion shoot by Annie Leibovitz that features the US National Guard delivering aid to victims of Hurricane Sandy accompanied by, among others, supermodel Joan Smalls showing off a Proenza Schouler leather jacket and skirt.

The Saskatchewan-born fiddle player, Karrnnel, has a better sense of taste than Vogue. The video for his “101” composition was was shot in and around New York City and, “In light of recent events and with gratitude for the people we met and neighborhoods we spent time in, a portion on sales from every download of ‘101’ will go directly to the Canadian Red Cross Hurricane Sandy USA Fund,” his website states. Now, that’s style.

[iframe src=”http://player.vimeo.com/video/52974244″ width=”100%” height=”480″]


Going to the fiddle clinic

Sunday, 13 January, 2013 0 Comments

The history of playing music on bowed instruments is ancient. The “fiddle” family is present in almost every culture, but no specific occasion celebrates the great contribution to society that this group of instruments has made. Time, then, for World Fiddle Day, which will be initiated this year. The month of May, a time of […]

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Tangled points of view, and all of them blue

Saturday, 18 August, 2012

“Life is sad / Life is a bust / All ya can do is do what you must / You do what you must do / And ya do it well / I’ll do it for you, honey baby / Can’t you tell?” Buckets of Rain from Blood on the Tracks by Bob Dylan, released […]

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