28 June 2021
If you don’t wish to read through the notes below, you can go straight to playlist D on YouTube here.
Darren O’Mahony joins Aidan Crossey to help create another of our collaborative playlists of Irish traditional music.
Along with his partner-in-crime, Dom, Darren was responsible for The Blarney Pilgrims podcasts which were very popular among the Irish trad community. Unlike many podcasts which exist merely to push “product”, The Blarney Pilgrims podcast featured lengthy, often surprising, conversations with Irish musicians which really got under the skin of their love of the tunes and the twists and turns in their lives which helped reinforce that love. Although the shows are currently on pause, the archive of podcasts remains available. See The Blarney Pilgrims Irish Music Podcast
Darren’s selections are eclectic and exciting… I hope you enjoy this playlist as much as Darren enjoyed putting it together…
D is for DÉANTA IN ÉIREANN by Lankum. Darren says: As an Irishman living in Australia this song cuts deep. I left home in 1999 in the height of the Celtic Tiger. Not because I had to like so many before, but because I was part of an “anything’s possible” generation and the world was our oyster. Fast forward to now and how I’m desperate to reconnect with the place I left. But is it the place I left? I’m chasing an idealised memory. In 2021 this tune makes me feel so stranded both physically and emotionally. I hope it becomes a classic and people remember this part of our story. Lankum – Déanta In Éireann
D is for DANÚ. Aidan says: This set of polkas and slides is easily one of the most exciting pieces of music that this most exciting of bands produced. To this day – despite having listened to it dozens (hundreds?) of times, the change to the last tune, Jazzing With Mag Leary, never fails to give me an adrenalin rush. Danú – Neili/Dan Sullivan’s Swing Band/Dayne Thomas’/Jazzing With Mag Leary
D is for DANCE IN THE FOURTH. Darren says: I selected this banger because, as you know, I’m a raver at heart. Kane is one of the few who have ever managed to weave techno and trad together. This tune lights a fire in my heart and I love thinking of it as a jumping off point in the next evolution of the music. Kane O’Rourke – Dance In The Fourth
D is for DRONES. Aidan says: Another selection from Lankum. One of the elements of their music which moves me is the use of drones – fiddle drones, pipe drones, concertina drones, harmonium drones – to underpin their music. This track, on which Raydie Peat takes lead vocals, is spellbinding. As gorgeous as it is throught-provoking. Lankum – What Will We Do When We Have No Money? (live)
D is for (RE)DEFINING. Darren says: This YouTube comment sums it up better than I ever could “Every now and again some young f***er comes along and redefines an instrument. Brilliant.” Cormac Begley – O’Neill’s March
D is for DONAL LUNNY. Aidan says: Donal Lunny has been involved in just about every significant Irish music band and “movement” since he first appeared on the scene in the mid-60s. Often his sheer musicality is somewhat lost. However on this duet with Frank Harte, his delicacy of touch is simply remarkable. Frank Harte and Donal Lunny – The Charladies’ Ball
D is for GATEWAY DRUG. Darren says: Whenever an Australian friend asks me which Irish music they should try, my go to answer is The Gloaming. For me they are the perfect trad gateway drug of choice. The Gloaming – The Old Bush
D is for DUBLIN. Aidan says: As you’d expect there are a fair few tunes out there which reference “Dublin” in their title. One of the most straightforward (in my opinion and experience, anyway!) “Dublin” reels is “Within A Mile Of Dublin”. In this session video Mick Moloney (banjo) and James Keane (box), pair it with one of the (in my opinion, anyway) “hardest” reels in the Tradition, “The Spike Island Lassies”. Take it away, men. Hup! Mick Moloney and James Keane – Within A Mile Of Dublin/The Spike Island Lassies
D is for DENIS MURPHY AND JULIA CLIFFORD. Darren says: My other musical obsession is American Old-time fiddle tunes. And to my ear Julia Clifford and Denis Murphy have a shared sound with the old time players like Fred Cockerham and Tommy Jarrell. When I first heard this record I completely fell in love with its sound. There was something familiar in it. I later put together it was the droning strings and double stops that were reminding me of those old American tunes. I’ve also come to learn in the last few weeks that Padraig O’Keeffe’s uncle, Callaghan “Cal” O’Callaghan, who was a major influence on Padraig, spent many years in the States working before returning home and playing tunes all the time. This may well explain some of the crossover between the Sliabh Luachra style and Applachian Old-time. (Maybe not) Denis Murphy and Julia Clifford – The Morning Star/Rolling On The Ryegrass
D is for DANCING. Aidan says: For many traditional musicians, the tunes have become separated from the associated dances. And so it’s really useful to remind ourselves sometimes of how the two are, in fact, inseparable. On this track from the legendary album by Tony MacMahon (box) and Noel Hill (concertina), the accompaniment of the dancers’ stomping and shuffling is percussion par excellence! Tony MacMahon and Noel Hill – The Humours Of Castlefin set.
Many thanks to Darren O’Mahony for his suggestions. Lovely stuff altogether!
Listen to the full “D” playlist here.
All playlists on my channel here.
Return to the “A to Z” home page here.