Playlist L, part 2

21 August 2021

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

Andrew Lyons joins Aidan Crossey to help create another of our collaborative playlists of Irish traditional music. Andrew is a mandolin player whose taste and technique are enviable. I’ve been following his playing on YouTube for some considerable time now and am always excited to hear that he has made a new recording. “In real life”, Andrew is a very talented illustrator. To listen to Andrew’s music, head over to and to view his illustrations, go to

Very many thanks to Andrew for working with me on this project – and apologies that I didn’t manage to get my act together sooner to contribute my tuppence worth!

L is for LOVE AT THE ENDINGS. Andrew says: One of the first tunes I learned. I chose this clip of Kevin playing as his LP ‘Up close’ was my first trad album, I love it to bits.   Kevin Burke – Love At The Endings/John McGrath’s

L is for LOUGH NEAGH. Aidan says: I grew up a stone’s throw from the southern shore of Lough Neagh, Ireland’s biggest lake. So big that from where I lived, even on a clear day (not that there were many!) the northern shore was beyond the horizon. Barry Kerr – a multi-instrumentalist of no little repute who comes from Lurgan, the nearest town to where I grew up – wrote a reel about one of the phenomena that fishermen on Lough Neagh observe from time to time. There are occasional freak waves on the Lough which travel in packs of three and have the potential to capsize boats if the occupants aren’t wary. Many a tragic death has been attributed to these “three sisters”… This is fierce, wild playing by Mr Kerr! Barry Kerr – The Ship In Full Sail/The Three Sisters

L is for LUACHRACHAN. Andrew says: Junior Crehan tunes are just the best. I find this young girl’s playing of this tune really wonderful, the flow and rhythm, the variations. This particular clip (and also Tom Cussen’s YouTube channel) was a huge inspiration when I was learning the mandolin. I hope she’s still playing. Grace O’Mahony – The Luachrachan/Gan Ainm Reel

L is for LEO RICKARD. Aidan says: Leo is one of my favourite pipers. And this is a great set of reels. What more does a body need? Leo Rickard – The New-Mown Meadow/The Broken Pledge/The Flogging Reel

L is for MY LOVE IS IN AMERICA. Andrew says: Martin ekes so much soul out of every note, and the spaces between the notes.  Martin Hayes & Denis Cahill – My Love Is In America

L is for LANKUM. Aidan says: Lankum appear often in these playlists. For the simple reason that I think they are a future of Irish traditional music. They are absolutely, fiercely grounded in the tradition but their musical vision – and that grounding – enables them to take subtle (and sometimes not so subtle) risks with the music in a way which keeps we trad aficionados on board and yet appeals to listeners with other tastes. This video of their finale at a concert in Vicar Street in 2017 is simply amazing. Watch how they manage to be playful with the music, even in front of a packed crowd. (The cheeky look on Raydie’s face at around 3:45 captures so much of their sheer zest!) Lankum – Sergeant William Bailey

L is for LILTING. Andrew says: I remember hearing my Grandad lilting when I was little, my first introduction to music was his lilting and Jaws harp playing. Josie McDermott – The Collier’s Reel/The Bank Of Ireland

L is for Noel Hill & TONY LINNANE. Aidan says: The album which Noel Hill and Tony Linnane made together in 1979 remains one of the loveliest I’ve heard in many years of listening to the tunes. This set is one which used to feature a lot at a session I used to attend in The White Horse in Bethnal Green, East London. Noel Hill & Tony Linnane – The Home Ruler/Kitty’s Wedding

L is for THE LADY ON THE ISLAND. Andrew says: I’ve always loved the title and the tune which has always evoked an image in my mind of a sad, mystical lady alone on an island on a lough and it still has me wondering who this woman is and why she’s there. This is Planxty playing as I can’t get enough of the sound of those pipes.  Planxty – The Lady On The Island/The Gatehouse Maid/The Virginia Reel/Callaghan’s

L is for LARRY THE BEERDRINKER. Aidan says: So many reasons why I’ve chosen to end this playlist with this fine set of jigs by Kevin MacLeod. Firstly, he’s simply one of the best mandolinists I’ve ever heard. I’ve spent some time in his company and I can confirm that he’s every bit as much a gentleman as he is a musician! Secondly, Banbridge is a town not far from Lurgan, where I grew up and I spent a fair bit of time in my feckless (so, what’s changed?) youth at discos in The Coach Inn there. Finally, I don’t know who the hell Larry was (and I hope he wasn’t the poor bloke who got stretched!), but he sounds like a man after my own heart. Kevin Macleod – The Girls Of Banbridge/Larry The Beerdrinker

Many thanks to Andrew for suggesting some amazing selections for this playlist and for getting my mind racing to find songs and tunes to complement his choices. Very much appreciated!

Listen to the full “L”, part 2 playlist, here.

All playlists on my channel here.

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

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