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Famous Fiddlers from County Clare
Trad Irish
Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 (4 votes) 
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ELCBK
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August 13, 2022 - 3:07 am
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County Clare and West Clare, Ireland - has been a wellspring of VERY Famous Trad Fiddlers. 

There are existing threads I'll link later and some documentaries/videos about these fiddlers. 

Please feel free to add!

 

Martin Hayes

Junior Crehan 

Séamus Connolly 

Patrick Kelly 

Paddy Canny 

Ellen (Nell) Gavin 

Sharon Shannon 

Joe Ryan  

John Kelly  

Bobby Casey 

PJ Hayes

 

@ABitRusty -

Did I list all the most famous?

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ABitRusty
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August 13, 2022 - 8:17 am
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Seems like Ive heard some talk about Martin Rochford.  Good list started of people to listen to.  Also probably should add PJ Hayes for sure.  

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August 13, 2022 - 2:14 pm
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@ABitRusty -

Thanks, forgot about PJ Hayes - duh! 

 

I've found photos of Martin Rochford playing the fiddle, but the only video I've found - has him playing the pipes. 

Did find Martin Hayes talking about him in this video, but as stated, this reel may have not been composed by Rochford. 

 

So, has Martin Rochford composed any tunes?

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August 13, 2022 - 6:42 pm
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@elcbk thats probably the one i saw.  Him playing pipes.   Im sure youve seen or read in old time where some of the old time fiddle stars today spent time with or were influenced by Tommy Jarrell.  I feel like it was sort of the same thing in Irish.  People learned tunes from, played with or were influenced by him. 

Theres a story I heard on a video that tells about the John Naughtons ships in full sail tune I think it is.  John Naughton A concertina player in his 70s had been away from music since his youth ..just due to life.  One of his friends much later on when John was much older and retired maybe brought him a concertina and John started playing again.  During some house session or maybe event the fiddler tells of John playing tunes from memory.  Maybe not exactly how they went but to Johns best recall.  Ships in full sail was one of those and influenced the way that person played it on a recording. The B part specifically.  The way John played it was something this person really liked.

Hopefully I have the story correct.. i dont want to start a game of telephone with it 😅... but thats pretty close I think. 

so alot of tunes that have someones name attached may or may not  have been written by them.  It seems just as likely that someone enjoyed that tune and/or when someone played it again just called it by their name.  like ...lets play that one that elcbk likes to play.  🙂  and the name stuck forever and ever.   possibly the reason so many different names for the same melody on sites like thesession.  

my opinion only.. not necessarily reality.

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ELCBK
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August 14, 2022 - 11:26 pm
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Maybe should start this thread off with Martin Hayes!

@ABitRusty -

You've talked about Martin Hayes in many threads.  Which one's would you like to have linked here, in this thread? 

Here's one: Martin Hayes Shared Notes Thread - recommending the book, "Shared Notes: A Musical Journey" by Martin Hayes.  GREAT reviews... I feel bad I haven't read it, yet. 

 

Fiddler Martin Hayes talks to Tommy about the evolution of his work (RTÉ). 

More of Martin's influence - "The Masters of Tradition Festival"! 

As ever, the Festival is headlined by its Artistic Director Martin Hayes, the fiddler from East Clare, whose extravagant virtuosity has brought the tradition to new levels.

I know you posted one of these parts somewhere, but can't remember. 

Martin Hayes & Dennis Cahill - From Clare To Here - Part 1 of

The clarebannerman site has all 5 of the "From Clare to Here" Series videos to watch.

There's actually a song called "From Clare To Here" - a ballad about Irish emigration composed by Ralph McTell. 

MORE on Martin Hayes - lessons and all his wonderful projects!

 

AND... where would Martin be without his Father, PJ Hayes? 

PJ Hayes was a founding members of the "Tulla Céilí Band" - surprised to learn Joe Cooley was, too! 

Besides PJ there have been other fiddlers throughout the bands existence; Paddy Canny, Bobby Casey, Francie Donnellan, Mark Donnellan, Dr. Bill Loughnane, Michael Murphy, Bert McNulty, Peter O'Loughlin, Sean Reid, Jack Shaughnessy, Aggie Whyte - and Martin Hayes! (wiki)

Video Playlists for "Celebration of 50 Years Album" and "60th Anniversary Celebration Album"

Here's my favorite video of Martin & PJ - THEY"RE BOTH SMILING!!! 

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ABitRusty
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August 14, 2022 - 11:46 pm
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roflol  all of 'em 

didnt we go through a kevin burke phase? 🤣

book 4 of foinn sessiun has sets laid out to match some of the Tulla Ceili and Killieforna bands

https://mcneelamusic.com/acces.....un-4-book/

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August 15, 2022 - 12:47 am
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@ABitRusty -

Yes, still in one - but Kevin Burke plays tunes from all over Ireland - he isn't a Fiddler from Clare (grew up in London), considered a Sligo fiddler, his folks were from County Sligo & he picked up that style while visiting relatives still there. (wiki)

Junior Crehan! 

Some great stuff in the Junior Crehan - "Caisleán An Óir" Thread

Junior Crehan of Balymackea Beg - Profile of a West Clare Fiddle Player

 

Great tribute to Junior Crehan from Christy Moore & Dónal Lunny, of Planxty! 

 

His book has listed these tunes as credited to him. 

Tunes

The Luachrachán's Jig (A leprechaun had one hump on his back, the luachrachán had 2 humps) 
The Mowing Machine 
The Mist Covered Mountain 
Farewell to Miltown Malbay 
Poll an Mhadra Uisce (The Otter's Holt) 
Caisleán an Óir (The Golden Castle) 
The Sheep in The Boat (from the Slow Air and Song "Anach Cuain") 
Her Lovely Hair was Flowing down her Back 
Lament for The Country House Dance (aka. Caoineadh an tSagairt - or the Priest's Lament) - but he didn't compose this - just played it!  So now I'm not sure about some of the other tunes.
The Stack of Oats 
The Stack of Rye 
Mo Ghrá Thú (My love to you) 
The Hills of Coore 
The West Clare Railway 
Crehan's Banbhs 
The Thatched Cabin 
The Musical Doctor 
May Bán (Dear May) 
I Have a House of my Own with a Chimney built on the top of it 
The Last House in Ballymackea 

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August 15, 2022 - 2:00 am
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Transplanting 2 videos from the Traditional Irish Styles Fiddle Playing - Great Video Series Thread

Here are the 2 parts to "County Clare Music" - both in Gaelic, with subtitles. 

 

 

 

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ABitRusty
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August 15, 2022 - 8:53 am
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@elcbk said

Lament for The Country House Dance (aka. Caoineadh an tSagairt - or the Priest's Lament) - but he didn't compose this - just played it!  So now I'm not sure about some of the other tunes.

He never said he composed it.  He said ..so i made this hornpipe.. and used the melody he remembered the person singing.  I thought i mentioned in the original post back in a topic somewhere.  cant remember where now.  maybe the Junior Crehan one.  

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August 15, 2022 - 11:54 am
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@ABitRusty -

You are correct about the videos, but I was referring to what the book had listed as 'his' tunes.

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@ABitRusty -

Thank you for recommending "The West Clare Reel" - it IS a little on the dark side! 🤗  Up to my eyeballs in tunes, but this is now on my list.

GREAT Martin Hayes Tutorial for anyone else who wants to try it! 

Nice tune composed by Peadar Ó Riada, a concertina player, poet and TG4 Composer of the Year (2008) - from County Cork!  ...oh well, so much for music styles by County. (lol)

 

I've had my eye on Junior Crehan's "Farewell to Miltown" - here's played along with another of Junior's tunes, "The West Clare Railway" by brothers Terry, Niall and Kieran Crehan - nephews of Junior!  The 3rd tune is old, "Maud Miller", but don't know who composed it. 

You knew there had to be a story:

The first [Farewell to Miltown] written after junior was left waiting for a lift to miltown for ceili band practice so in spite he composed this tune and refused to go to miltown for many years.

Free sheet music available at thesession.org

 

I'm thinking of adding the reels, "The Galtee" (aka. "The Dangerous") and "Moving in Old Decency" (aka. Ger Quigley's) to it, but can't say they're Clare tunes - don't know where they come from.

Haven't you played "Farewell Miltown"... or is my brain fogged over, again? 

- Emily

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August 19, 2022 - 1:39 am
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Found a site that talks about County Clare and all of it's Music Festivals & Pub Sessions!  

Find out more, here: https://www.westclare.net/music.htm

County Clare has been known as the home of Traditional music, this due to the annual calendar of festivals throughout the county. The traditional music season starts in Clare in february and goes on until end of october. It kicks off with The Russell Memorial Weekend in Doolin. This festival is just the first piece in a symphony of festivals that are to be put on in various towns around the county, from Feakle to Kilfenora to Kilkishen. 

For the weekends that have no festivals on, many pubs throughout the county have weekly or even daily sessions.

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ABitRusty
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August 19, 2022 - 7:22 pm
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@elcbk said.. "Haven't you played "Farewell Miltown"

I havent tried it but the opening sounds a bit like the beginning of musical priest so thats probably what ypu remember.

My Love is in America slowed down is similar.  Ive forgotten origin.. think it was also called My Love is in Brooklyn or similar.  think it was originally more a piper tune if I remember from a tune book I looked at once.   Dont think its a "Clare" fiddler tune other than most everyone seems to play it and I think it has the same kind of feel to it as west clare.

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@ABitRusty -

Thanks! 

Knew there had to be a reason it has such a familiar sound/feel to it that I like. 😊

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