16 July 2021
If you don’t wish to read through the notes below, you can go straight to playlist C on YouTube here.
This is the first of three “solo” playlists which I’m going to feature. I’ll create an “A” list, a “C” list and an “M” list – A and C being the first letters of my name and M being the first letter of my middle name…
I’ve included some biographical / music-related details about my collaborators – so to begin with here are a few details about me. I was brought up in Derrymacash, County Armagh and moved to London in the mid 1980s. Around the mid 1990s I developed an interest in Irish Traditional Music, first as a listener and then, tentatively, as a player of GDAE-tuned fretted instruments – mandolin, octave mandola, banjo and tenor guitar at various points. I’ve drifted in and out of the music but it’s been my pleasure and privilege to play tunes with some great players and great friends at sessions across London including The Blythe Hill Tavern, the short-lived and manic Saturday night sessions at Shillelaghs in Catford, The White Horse session in Bethnal Green… And occasionally others as and when the time was right for a few tunes.
Although I have drifted away from the tunes from time to time, I have rediscovered my passion in the past few years. One of the reasons I started The Irish Mandolin website was to, hopefully, give something back to the music and to provide resources and inspiration to fellow mandoliers who enjoy playing Irish traditional tunes. These playlists will hopefully appeal not just to players of GDAE-tuned instruments but to a much wider audience who love this music…
C is for CHARLIE LENNON. Aidan says: For many years, Charlie Lennon and Irish Traditional Music have been synonymous. Charlie is renowned as a fine fiddler and pianist as well as a prolific composer of some simply beautiful tunes. In this selection, Charlie’s talents as both fiddler and composer are showcased as he plays one of his best-loved jigs. Charlie Lennon – A Smile For Sile
C is for CRAN. Aidan says: One of my favourite groups, Cran features the sheer might of Ronan Browne on pipes (and harmony vocals), Desi Wilkinson on flute (and harmony vocals) and the recently-deceased Sean Corcoran RIP on bouzouki and lead vocals. Cran – Na Ceannabhain Bhana/An Rogaire Dubh/Willie Clancy’s Secret Jig
C is for CATHAL HAYDEN AND BRIAN MCGRATH. Aidan says: There are few more talented and listenable banjo players than Cathal Hayden and Brian McGrath. So pin back your ears to hear them duetting on a ripping set of jigs before shifting time signature for a reel to close the set… Cathal Hayden & Brian McGrath – Old Joe’s/The Cuil Aodha Jig/Roaring Mary
C is for CONCERTINA. Aidan says: Micheal O Raghallaigh’s “The Nervous Man” is one of the most spellbinding concertina albums. I’ve spent a lot of time immersed in the CD and there are tracks which give me goose pimples, even despite the fact that I’m so familiar with them. This selection is one such set! Micheal O Raghallaigh – Sport/The Hawthorn Hedge
C is for CRAOBH RUA. Aidan says: A slow air leads into a reel which I’ve seen described as “the most beautiful tune in the Irish musical tradition”. Hard to argue, to be honest… Craobh Rua – Air/The Ivy Leaf/The Fox On The Town
C is for Catherine McEvoy, CAOIMHIN O RAGHALLAIGH AND MICHEAL O RAGHALLAIGH. Aidan says: Flute, fiddle and ‘tina… Lovely! Catherine McEvoy, Caoimhin O Raghallaigh & Micheal O Raghallaigh – The Foxhunter’s/Comb You Hair And Curl It
C is for Bobby Casey. Aidan says: Very few fiddlers of his generation have been more influential than County Clare’s Bobby Casey. Bobby Casey – The Reel Of Mullinavat/Tie The Ribbons
C is for CHICAGO Aidan says: The Chicago Reel is one of those tunes which lodged itself in my brain when I first started out listening to and playing this music. John Whelan makes a fine fist of it! John Whelan – The Chicago Reel/Toss The Feathers
C is for John Carty. Aidan says: Adept on both fiddle and banjo, John Carty gives us a version of his own composition, Seanamhac Tube Station, on the former instrument. John Carty – Seanamhac Tube Station
C is for John Cradden. Aidan says: A few months ago I had the pleasure of making the acquaintance online of John Cradden, originally from County Antrim and now living in Scotland. John is the creative force behind “The Celtic Mandolin” (see http://thecelticmandolin.co.uk). From time to time John and I have collaborated on a few tunes. His forte is for arranging music for several instruments, with one or tow close harmony parts for mandolin. From time to time John records a set of tunes which showcase his fine playing. This is one such showcase, “The Lockdown Polkas”. John Cradden – The Lakes Of Sligo/The £4 Cheque/The Church Street Polka/Sord Cholmcille
Listen to playlist C here.
All playlists on my channel here.
Return to the “A to Z” home page here.