Recommended listening

Updated 3 March 2021

Most days on my twitter feed since I joined in November 2020 I post any updates to The Irish Mandolin website and/or my YouTube channel and I pick out a “tune learning” video of the day from the latter from the back catalogue in the channel. (There are over 500 videos there now, so the back catalogue is quite extensive…)

I also aim to post up at least one mandolin video that has caught my attention and at least one track by artists in the Irish traditional or related genres that have inspired me – either early on in my journey into the tunes or subsequently. Inevitably, given that the mandolin is a “cinderella” instrument in Irish traditional music, there will be much more of the latter than the former! I thought it might be worth keeping a record of these recommendations here.

Recommended mandolin listening

Lawrence Molloy - Last Night's Fun

Ye Vagabonds - The Humours Of Glynn

Dan Beimborn - ? Reel/The Wise Maid

Marla Fibish and Dale Russ - Eddie Kelly's/The Lark On The Strand

"Tergal14" - The Porthole Of The Kelp

Jill McAuley - The Humours Of Carrigaholt/Tie The Bonnet

Shane Farrell - The Humours Of Tulla

Brian Kelly - backstage playing a Gibson F-2

Luke Plumb - Reels

Jeremy Keith - The Hills Of Coore

Michael Kerry - The Sligo Maid

Arnaud Lachambre - The Swallow's Tail/Father O'Flynn

Kevin MacLeod and Alec Finn - Dinny O'Brien's/The Burning Sands Of Egypt

Dagger Gordon - The North Coast

Darren Maloney - Towards Evening

Chris Thile - Ragtime Annie

Kevin MacLeod - Nothing Can Sadden Us/Port Patrick/The March Of The Cameron Men

Ted Stavrou - The Frieze Britches

Iron Broo Ceilidh Band - Frank McCollum's/The Stack Of Barley

Dan Beimborn - Tommy Bhetty's Waltz

Brían MacGloinn tests out one of Kevin O'Brien's mandolins

Brian Taheny - The Chicago Reel/Famous Ballymote/The Wise Maid

Caitríona Lagan - The Hunter's Purse

"tantoonie0" - The Maid Behind The Bar

Paul Brady - The Jolly Soldier/The Blarney Pilgrim

John Kelly - The Pleasures Of Hope

Sean McLaughlin - Slieve Gallion Braes/Banish Misfortune

The Dubliners - Chief O'Neill's Favourite/The Trumpet Hornpipe/The Mullingar Races

David Surette and Flynn Cohen - Polkas live at Northern Roots 2019

Martin Howley - The One That Was Lost

Steam - The Ravens

Jill McAuley - John Brennan's

Graeme Danforth and Marty Smith - Lucy Farr's Barndance

Mark Nangle - Mark Nangle's Polkas

Denis McAuliffe and Alph Duggan - The Sheepin/Fergal Scahill's

Denis McAuliffe and Alph Duggan - Gan Ainm Hornpipe

Denis McAuliffe and Alph Duggan - Sean Ryan's/Gan Ainm (reels)

Denis McAuliffe and Alph Duggan - La Partida (A Venezuelan waltz)

Aidan Crossey - Hector The Hero (with apologies for the shameless self-promotion)

Ragtime Annie - a traditional American fiddle tune played by Aidan Crossey - YouTube

Floriane Blancke (harp), Dermot Byrne (box) & Brendan O'Regan (mandolin) - Mr O'Connor/Medina Reel

Martin Howley - Dawnbreak Jig

David Benedict - Three Reels Composed by Paddy Fahey

Dan Beimborn - Scarce O' Tatties/Con Cassidy's Jig

Simon Mayor and Richard Collins - The Boston Ballyhoo (not trad but magnificent mandolinery, so I'll make an exception for this one!)

James Dumbelton - Farewell To Connaught

Eva Holbrook - The Monaghan Jig

Eva Holbrook (as Lady Moon) - The Blacksmith

Simon Mayor - The Lark In The Clear Air

David Benedict, Tristan Scroggins and Tabitha Benedict - Macedonia I don't normally recommend mandolin videos which aren't explicitly of Irish music but this is simply so clever, so well-played and sublime that I have to make an exception!

Sweeney's Men - The Exile's Jig (Port An Deoraí)  Precise and controlled playing on mandolin here by a young Andy Irvine with Johnny Moynihan on whistle.

Marla Fibish - The Rocky Road To Dublin/Comb Your Hair And Curl It

John Cradden - The Thornton Jig (specially recorded for this website; not available commercially)

John Cradden - Cavehill (specially recorded for this website; not available commercially)

John Cradden - A' Mhorag mur dean thu tighinn (specially recorded for this website; not available commercially)

John Cradden - The Lockdown Polkas (The Lakes Of Sligo/The £4 Cheque/The Church Street Polka/Sord Cholmcille) specially recorded for this website; not available commercially

John Cradden - Michael Gregory's specially recorded for this website, John's version of one of my own compositions, dedicated to my friend from North Dakota; not available commercially

Baron Collins-Hill - The New Found Out (first time round at learning/teaching pace, then he steps up a gear)

Mick Moloney - Richard Brennan's/The Bush On The Hill (seriously pyrotechnical mandolinery from Mr Moloney)

Dan Forney - The White Petticoat

The Mid-Wales Mandolin Orchestra - A Finnish Polka

James Dumbelton - Splendid Isolation

Dagger Gordon - Sitting In The Stern Of A Boat (a video in David Benedict's wonderful Mandolin Mondays series which features an eclectic mix of mandolinery in various traditional and contemporary styles - well worth checking out!)

Noah Finn - Gallagher's Frolics/The Pipe On The Hob/An t-Athair Jack Walsh

Olga Egorova - Russian-Ukrainian medley.  Not Irish trad but I've just had to bring this to your attention because a) Olga's BLISTERING playing and b) what a lovely instrument, her Dutch-built octave mandolin.  Want one, want one, want one... 

Dick Glasgow - The Jug Of Punch/Eddie Kelly's two jigs played on his magnificent, bright yet punchy Sobell

Dick Glasgow (mandolin) and Ciaran Kelly (E Flat Melodeon) - The Showman's Fancy/The Galway Hornpipe

Dan Forney - The Star Above The Garter

Fintán O Meachair (mandolin), Hammy Hamilton (flute) and Conal Ó Gráda (flute) - The Woodcock/The Kerfunten two of Hammy's own compositions

We Banjo 3 - "An American Tune"/Last Night's Fun featuring the tasty mandolin playing of Martin Howley

Kevin MacLeod, Alec Finn, Dan Beimborn, Roger Landes - The Silver Spear/The Providence a performance at the 2003 Zoukfest, showcasing 4 instruments in the mandolin family made by Stephen Owsley Smith.  Gave me a serious case of instrument envy!

Paul Kelly (mandolin), Breanndán Ó Beaglaioch (melodeon) and Frankie Lane (guitar) - The Bridge (composed by Frankie Lane)

"Bainseo5" - The Rolling Wave

Tim O'Brien (mandolin, vocals) and Arty McGlynn (guitar) - Pretty Fair Maid In The Garden

Mary Shannon (mandolin), Sharon Shannon (box), Mary Custy (fiddle) and Kevin Griffin (banjo) - Seamus Cooley's/The Mooncoin Jig

Kilshanny - featuring mandolinist Joe Robinson - The Cottage In The Grove/Sean Ryan's/Toss The Feathers

Mike Marshall and The Artistworks Academy - Lonesome Moonlight Waltz (Mike features 32 of his students in this rich arrangement of Bill Monoroe's tune.  It's not trad Irish but it's mandolinspirational!  Hence my recommendation...)

Bren O'Leary - The Teardrop Waltz (a good friend of mine for many years, albeit mostly via email and such (although we have managed occasionally to have tunes together when his travels have taken him to London), Bren plays a beautiful French-Canadian waltz by Reg Bouvette)

Recommended listening (other instruments/voices)

Gerry Harrington, Eoghain O'Sullivan and Paul de Grae - Rolling In The Barrel/The Torn Jacket/The Flowers Of Limerick

Noel Hill and Tony MacMahon - The Humours Of Castlefin set

John Spillane and Louis de Paor - Magic Nights In The Lobby Bar

Noel Hill and Tony Linnane - Humours Of Ballyconnell/The Drunken Landlady/Ryan's Reel

Lankum - The Old Main Drag

Fontaines DC - I'm A Man You Don't Meet Every Day

Sean McGuire - The Centenary March/The Triumphal March/O'Neill's March

James Kelly and Daithi Sproule - The Stage/The Western

Mary MacNamara - An Paistin Fionn

Ben Lennon - The Dances At Kinvara

Gerry Harrington, Eoghain O'Sullivan and Paul de Grae - Pearl O'Shaughnessy's Barndances/The Hills Of Tara

Tommy Peoples, Paddy Keenan and Arty McGlynn - The Corner House/Paddy Taylor's/Hunters' House

John Carty - Jim Donoghue's

Na Connerys - Casey's Reel/Ships Are Sailing/Crossing The Shannon

Joe And Antoinette McKenna - The Travelling Slide/The Old Favourite/Johnny Mickey's

Mary Bergin - The Blackberry Blossom/Maud Miller/I Wish I Never Saw You/Up To Your Knees In Sand

The Dubliners - Fermoy Lasses/Sporting Paddy

The Mulcahy Family - The New Found Out/The Drunken Landlady/The Thrush In The Storm

Mick O'Brien and Caoimhín Ó Raghallaigh - Teampall An Ghleanntáin/Hickey's

Brendan Begley - John Murphy/Maurice Manley's/John Kelly's

Anthony Warde and friends (session recording) - Colonel Fraser

Joe Derrane - The Kildare Fancy/The Golden Eagle/The Sweeps'

Kane O'Rourke - May Morning Dew

Harry Bradley - Seamus Quinn's/Peter Parson's

Gerry Lavery - Last Election Day

Barry Kerr - Ships In Full Sail/The Three Sisters

Angeline Carberry and Martin Quinn - The Green Groves Of Erin/Burnes

Niall Hanna - The Mountains Of Pomeroy

Téada - The Ace And Deuce Of Piping

Seamus Ennis - The Bucks Of Oranmore/The Sligo Maid

Dervish - Peter Brown's/The Graf Spee/Last Night's Fun

Patrick Street - The Newmarket Polkas

Horslips - The High Reel/The Sligo Maid/The Reconciliation Reel

Brian Rooney - Shandon Bells/Jackson's

John Wynne - The Humours Of Tullycrine/Terry Bingham's Barndance

Lankum - What Will We Do When We Have No Money?

Tony Reidy - Like A Wild Thing

Liam O'Brien & Hajime Takahashi - Jigs in Kyoto

Liam O'Brien and Hajime Takahashi - The Garden Of Daisies

Liam O'Brien and Hajime Takahashi - Jackson's/The London Lasses

John McSherry and Dónal O'Connor - The Rose In The Gap/The Old Dudeen/The First Month Of Spring

The Boys Of The Lough - Todd's Sweet Rural Shade

Robbie Hannan - The Rambles Of Kitty/When Sick Is It Tea You Want?

Danú - Neili/Dan Sullivan's Swing Band/Dayne Thomas's/Jazzing with Mag Leary

Mick O'Brien and Caoimhín Ó Raghallaigh - The Woman Of The House/Rolling In The Ryegrass

Lá Lugh - The Rose In The Garden

Brendan Behan - The Captains And The Kings

Kevin Mitchell - The Granemore Hare

Hungry Grass - Kelly from Killane, Spike Island Lasses, Bunker Hill

Lankum - Sergeant William Bailey

The Gloaming - The Sailor's Bonnet

The Green Fields Of America - Jim O'Keefe's / The Clog / The Star Above the Garter / The Hare in the Corn

Josephine Keegan - Lament For Michael Delargy

The Johnstons - Coleraine Regatta

The Woods Band - Leave Her, Johnny, Leave Her

Len Graham - The Green Fields Of Amerikay

Dick Hogan - Raglan Road

Brian O'Connor - Leather Away The Wattle O'/The Spent Money (the latter polka better known as The Lakes Of Sligo)

Paul Dooley - Port an Deorai/An Phis Fluich

Páidraigín Ní Uallacháin - Thugamar Féin An Samhradh Linn

Páidraigín Ní Uallacháin - Éalaigh Liom

Paddy Tunney - The Rollicking Boys Around Tandaragee

Eliza Carthy - Tom Brown

Mary Bergin, Larry Nugent, Pauline Conneely, David Sheridan & Sean Earnest - Tinker's Daughter/Kiss The Maid Behind The Barrel.  Live at the Catskills Irish Arts Week 2016

Aidan Crossey - On Raglan Road

The McPeake Family - My Singing Bird

Joe Derrane and John McGann - The Kildare Fancy/The Golden Eagle/The Belfast Hornpipe (live in Boston)

The Four Winds - The Flags Of Dublin set 

Aidan Crossey - The Rich Man And The Poor Man

Jimmy Doyle and Dan O'Leary - Doyle's Favourite/O'Leary's Favourite

Matt Cranitch (fiddle) and Bríd Cranitch (piano) - An Chúilfhionn

Len Graham with the Irish Philharmonic Orchestra - Henry Joy

Rattle The Boards - The Nightingale (NB features some tasty, restrained mandolin...)

Rattle The Boards - Cuz Teehan's/Nell Fee's/Johnny O'Leary's

Rattle The Boards - Whistling Rufus

Rattle The Boards - The Mason's Apron

Tom Lenihan - Stick To The Craythur

Fergal Scahill - The Spirits Of Wine

Paddy Keenan with Arty McGlynn - The Ballintore Fancy

Matt Molloy, John Carty and Arty McGlynn - Farrell O'Gara/Good Morning To Your Nightcap/Conlon's Dream

James Kelly and Arty McGlynn - The Wedding Reel/The Boy In The Boat/The Heathery Breeze

Arty McGlynn - Lead The Knave/Bunker Hill

The Dubliners - The Louse House Of Kilkenny

Jimmy Crowley and Stokers Lodge - The Boys Of Fair Hill

Johnny Connolly, Johnny Óg Connolly, Mary Bergin, Charlie Lennon and Garry O'Briain - An Rogaire Dubh/Na Cheannabháin Bhána/Cailleach An Airgid

James Kelly, Paddy O'Brien and Daithi Sproule - The Monaghan Twig/Seán Sa Cheo

Conor Tully (fiddle), Seán Casey (banjo) and Frank Hogan (octave mandola) - The Pigeon On The Gate/The Drogheda Lasses

Conor Tully (fiddle), Sean Casey (banjo) and Frank Hogan (octave mandola) - Tommy Coen's/The Star Of Munster

Cathal Hayden (banjo), PJ MacDonald (whistle) and Arty McGlynn (guitar) - The Palm Tree/The Hare's Paw/The Leading Role

Brian Rooney - The High Road To Garrison/The Tipperary Fancy

Tommy Keane (pipes) and Bobby Casey (fiddle) - Scully Casey's/Bímis ag Ól

Brendan (whistle) and Johnny (banjo) Keenan - The Connaughtman's Rambles/The Eavesdropper (brothers of the piping legend Paddy Keenan; what a musical dynasty!)

Cathal Hayden and friends - The Donegal Lass (by Brian Finnegan)/The Cuil Aodh Jig/The Floating Crowbar/Gladstone's Reel

Sean Ryan (whistle) and Johnny "Ringo" McDonagh (bodhran) - two reels

De Dannan - Tom Billy's/The Castle (jigs)/The Sandmount/The Flowers Of Red Hill (reels)

Kane O'Rourke - Dance In The Fourth 

Michael Stribbling (pipes) and Daniel Stribbling (bouzouki) - Garrett Barry's/The Cameronian

The Raw Bar Collective - Conal Ó Gráda (flute), Benny McCarthy (box), Dave Sheridan (fiddle) and Colm Murphy (bodhrán) - The Showman's Fancy/Charlie Mulvihill's

The Kilfenora Ceili Band with The West Clare Set Dancers - The Reel O' Bogie Set

Any Old Time - Thadelo's Barndances

Joanne O'Connor (banjo), Gearóid Keating (banjo), Daragh Horan (banjo), Kevin Murphy (bouzouki), Joe O'Connell (bodhrán) - Polkas

Ned Kelly (accordion), Gerry O'Connor (banjo) and Tom Kenna (guitar) - The Leg Of The Duck/The Legacy/Calliope House

Kieran Collins (whistle) - The Skylark/Roaring Mary

Sharon Shannon and family with Tim Edey (guitar) - Dan The Cobbler/The Kilmovee/Calliope House

Maura O'Connell - The Water Is Wide

Caitríona Lagan (banjo) and Stephen Hayden (fiddle) - The Musical Priest/McFadden's Handsome Daughter

Seamus Connolly (fiddle), Paddy Cronin (fiddle), Joe Derrane (box) and John McGann (mandola) - Sheehan's/My Love Is In America/The Green Gates

Katie Boyle (fiddle), Celine Donoghue (banjo), Johnny Canning (fiddle) and Julia Reid (mandola) at The Lismore Bar, Glasgow, Scotland in 2004 - Kylebrack Ramblers/Roddy McDonald's Fancy

John Murphy, Pip Murphy and Alan Dwyer (harmonicas) - The Flogging Reel/Kitty Jones/The Honeymoon Reel



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