19 July 2021
If you don’t wish to read through the notes below, you can go straight to playlist XYZ on YouTube here.
I had intended to create just three “solo” playlists but I’ve decided to add a fourth!
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…
X is for EXTREME. Aidan says: Brendan Ring is well known for his exuberant piping style and nowhere is his hell-for-leather approach more evident than on this set dance from his CD “Troublesome Things”. Brendan Ring – Madame Bonaparte
X is for EXTENDED. Aidan says: From time to time Martin Hayes and Dennis Cahill rip up the rule book and play extended sets, intermingling different tune types along the way. Here’s one such tour de force from their “Live In Seattle” album. Martin Hayes & Dennis Cahill – Port na bPucai/Kilnamona Barndance/Ship In Full Sail/Ger The Rigger/The Old Blackthorn/Exile of Erin/Humours Of Tulla/Fitzgerald’s Hornpipe/Rakish Paddy/Finbarr Dwyer’s Reel No. 1/P Joe’s Pecurious Pachelbel Special
Y is for YOUTH. Aidan says: It’s very pleasing to see so many young players going through. The tunes are safe for at least another generation. Caitriona Lagan is quite simply one of the best banjo players out there (and she makes some fine music on the fiddle to boot). It’s amazing to think that she’s got years of getting better and better ahead of her! Caitriona Lagan – The Road To Rio/The Longford Collector
Y is for YOUTH PART 2. Aidan says: I’m very impressed by the talents of Liam O’Brien (concertina) and Cian Talty (pipes). Yup! Liam O’Brien & Cian Talty – Johnny Henry’s/The Strawberry Blossom/The Honeymoon
Y is for THE YELLOW WATTLE. Aidan says: A lovely set of jigs from the maestro, Kevin Burke. Kevin Burke – Dinny Delaney’s/The Yellow Wattle
Y is for Young Tom Ennis Aidan says: In contrast to the selections from Caitriona Lagan and Liam O’Brien/Cian Talty, here’s a recording of veteran flute player, Mike Rafferty, with a set of jigs from his Speed 78 album. Mike Rafferty – Young Tom Ennis/Jerry’s Beaver Hat
Y is for GRAINNE YEATS. Aidan says: Grainne is one of Ireland’s best-known harpists. This selection is taken from her album recorded at the Belfast Harp Festival. Grainne Yeats – Brian Boru’s March
Z is for THE ZOOLOGICAL GARDENS Aidan says: I grew up listening to The Dubliners as, I suspect, did very many people of my vintage. It’s hard to overestimate just how influential they have been over the years, particularly in their classic line-up… The Dubliners – The Zoological Gardens
Z is for ZAN McLEOD Aidan says: Zan McLeod made an album with James Kelly – “The Ring Sessions” – which was, is and will always remain one of my favourite albums. This, the closing track sees Zan play an astounding set of reels on guitar. Zan McLeod – Sailing Into Walpole’s Marsh/The Game Of Love/The Teetotaller
Z is for ZOZIMUS. Aidan says: Zozimus was a Dublin street singer, who died in 1846. This is one of his surviving compositions, sung by Frank Harte. Frank Harte – The Finding Of Moses
Listen to playlist XYZ here.
All playlists on my channel here.
Return to the “A to Z” home page here.