Playlist J (part 2)

7 July 2021

If you don’t wish to read through the notes below, you can go straight to playlist J (part 2) on YouTube here.

Jeremy Keith joins Aidan Crossey to help create another of our collaborative playlists of Irish traditional music.

Jeremy Keith is the creator and “manager” of The Session (, unarguably the world’s most comprehensive resource for traditional Irish tunes, complete with a lively discussion forum, a discography section, events, session listings and more besides. And now celebrating its 20th anniversary – a remarkable feat in the often ephemeral world of the web!

I had the pleasure of meeting for a few pints with Jeremy several weeks ago on a warm and bright summer’s evening by the beach in Brighton. Among other topics, we discussed my fledgling idea of creating a series of collaborative playlists of Irish Traditional Music. I was in two minds at the time whether to pursue the idea. Would it have any “traction” with a “trad audience”? Would it be hard work? Would anyone want to participate? Jeremy encouraged me to “just do it”. So, I “just did it”! Thanks for the encouragement, Jeremy.

When he’s not doing his day job (something very sophisticated and thought-leading in the IT realm – way over my head!) and dealing with the myriad of queries that is the lot of managing a very popular website such as The Session, Jeremy is a player of mandolin, bouzouki, guitar and an occasional singer of the odd song. You can check out Jeremy’s musical talents at his YouTube channel here.

I’m over the moon that Jeremy has agreed to share some of his musical influences that are associated with the letter J. (And he’s gone to the trouble of including links to sheet music and abcs for the tunes as they appear at “The Session”.) On with the show!

J is for JENNY’S WELCOME TO CHARLIE. Jeremy says: I love this tune and I think Paddy Glackin’s playing of it might be my all time favourite. Paddy Glackin – Jenny’s Welcome To Charlie

J is for JOHN WYNNE. Aidan says: Sometimes a track from an album delivers an emotional gut-punch. This is one such emotional gut-puncher! John Wynne – Planxty George Brabazon/Jim Coleman’s

J is for JAYNE POMPLAS. Jeremy says: I really like her style of playing. The album John Byrne’s Disco is well worth checking out. Jayne Pomplas – Old Banish Misfortune/The Glen Road To Carrick

J is for JOE AND ANTOINETTE McKENNA. Aidan says: I’m a big fan of Joe (pipes) and Antoinette’s (harp) music. Joe is a very lyrical piper and his sister, Antoinette’s, harp accompaniment perfectly complements his playing. That these are two of my favourite reels is an added bonus! Joe and Antoinette McKenna – The Bird In The Tree/The Sunny Banks

J is for JIG OF LIFE. Jeremy says. I wonder how many people were turned to Irish music by hearing the cracking jig in the middle of side two of Hounds Of Love? Kate Bush – Jig Of Life

J is for JIMMY MORRISON. Aidan says: A great piece of piping by Jimmy Morrison, from his album “The Piper’s Rest”. For a good many years, the charms of hornpipes were lost on me. This may well have been one of the sets that lifted the scales from my eyes! Jimmy Morrison – The Tailor’s Twist/Byrne’s Hornpipe

J is for JULIA DELANEY’S. Jeremy says: Shane Farrell’s YouTube channel is a treasure trove of great tunes on mandolin and banjo. He’s recorded Julia Delaney’s on both, but of course I’m partial to the mandolin version. Shane Farrell – Julia Delaney’s

J is for ALAN AND JOHN KELLY. Aidan says: Brothers Alan (piano accordion) and John (flute) Kelly made a fine duet album called Fourmilehouse from which I’ve selected this powerful set of jigs. Alan and John Kelly – The One That Was Lost/The Hag’s Purse/An Rogaire Dubh

J is for JEREMY KEITH. Jeremy says: This is self-indulgent but I do really love this tune. I recorded this video at the peak of my lockdown beard. Aidan adds: Please, indulge yourself to your heart’s content. I, too, love this tune and I’ve not come across any player who holds it anything other than the very highest regard. And lovely mandolinery, by the way! Jeremy Keith – Jim Donoghue’s

J is for JAMES KELLY AND ZAN MCLEOD. Aidan says: James Kelly’s (fiddle) and Zan McLeod’s (guitar) album “The Ring Sessions” is a joy from start to finish. This set of polkas is a lovely example of James’ playing style, with a great lift as Zan makes an appearance during the second polka in the set James Kelly and Zan McLeod – The Ballydesmond/The Knocknaboul

Many thanks to Jeremy for his suggestions. Cheers, Jeremy. Here’s to another rendezvous some time soon – maybe with a few tunes thrown in for proper measure! And may The Session continue to go from strength to strength!

Listen to the full “J” playlist (part 2) here.

All playlists on my channel here.

Return to the “A to Z” home page here.

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