Updated 18 April 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 from time to time I pick out a “tune learning” video of the day from the latter from the back catalogue in the channel. (There are around 600 videos there now, so the back catalogue is quite extensive…)
I also post up mandolin (or mandolin family) videos that have caught my attention and music 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 (and other GDAE instruments) 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 Frédéric Bourgeois ("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) Fréderic Bourgeois (mandolin) and Brulette Wolf (fiddle) - Julia Delaney's Mandolin is rarely used as a backing instrument in Irish music but this is a lovely example of the way in which the mandolin can be used to play a simple countermelody alongside the tune to add colour and interest. Andrew Lyons - The Humours Of Glynn Victoria Pierce (mandolin) & Macdara Ó Faoláin (bouzouki) - Waltz For Joy/Old 57 Simply gorgeous tunes played on instruments hand-built to very exacting standards by Macdara himself. To view the quality of his craftsmanship visit http://www.mofluthier.com/ Frédéric Bourgeois (mandolin) and Sylvie Manautines (guitar) - McIntyre's Fancy Jill McAuley (banjo) and Aidan Crossey (mandolin) - The Showman's Fancy (A virtual duet; I play mandolin underneath a recording of this lovely hornpipe which Jill made some time ago. Many thanks to Jill for her gracious permission to record this...) Frédéric Bourgeois - Machine Moran (from David Benedict's must-follow "Mandolin Mondays" series) Bob Michel - Murphy's Hornpipe (lovely mandolinery on a gorgeous Gibson A4) Bob Michel - Minnie Foster's/Fly By Night (two grand hornpipes on Bob's Old Wave F5) Colin Botts (octave mandolin) and Alan Colfer (guitar) - Joe Bane's/The Gypsy Princess Two laid back and beautiful barndances. Colin Botts - The Humours Of Glen (lovely version on his Weber octave mandolin) "Fox Fish" plays Josefin's Waltz on a repaired, nylon-strung tenor guitar Andrew Lyons - An Buachaill Dreoite Tom Kimber - Spring Suspense a delightful mandolin/tenor guitar duet Brendon Ferullo - The Kid On The Mountain "MandolinUK" - The Congress Reel A lovely version of the Joe Mills tune on tenor guitar Andrew Lyons - Cá Bhfuil An Solas? No apologies for featuring another of Andrew's tunes. Lovely playing of a beautiful jig written by Peadar O Riada. The title translates into English as "Where Is The Sun?" Owen Marshall (bouzouki) and Baron Collins Hill (tenor guitar) - Multnomah March/Lucy Farr's Live at The Maine Fiddle Camp 2014 Dan Forney - The Eel In The Sink Tom Kimber - Rumbling Kern The outrageously talented Mr Kimber plays one of his own compositions in a delightful cittern, tenor guitar and mandolin arrangement. Luke William Wright - Big Sciota The old-time breakdown (which features from time to time in some Irish players' repertoires) played magnificently on mandocello Dan Forney - The Geese In The Bog A 5-part jig which, coincidentally, I have recently tabbed and recorded at this website and my YouTube channel, albeit with a slightly different setting. The Kilfenora Ceili Band - The Atlantic Waltz Set (lovely mandolin playing by John Lynch, the band's leader) Lawrence Molloy - John Lydon's Jig (in case you're wondering this jig was neither written by nor written as a tribute to the legendary Sex Pistol, PiL founder and butter salesman. Lawrence learned the tune from the piping of Caoimhin O Fearghail...) Daoiri Farrell - The Wheels Of The World/Banish Misfortune In this video, Daoiri demos a mandola which he had made for him by Paul Evans who sells his instruments under the Siveen trademark. Lovely instrument and fine playing! John Williamson - From Galway To Dublin (mandolin and tenor mandola)
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 Paul Harrigan (pipes) and Tim Edey (guitar) - Rodney's Glory/The Coleraine Jig/The Rambling Pitchfork Aoife Granville, Catherine McEvoy, Sarah-Jane Woods Claire McGrattan, Orlaith McAuliffe, Nuala Kennedy, Christina Dolphin, Mairéad Carey, Mairéad MacManus, June McCormack, Nicole Delaney. Bláthnaid NicCába, Catherine Clohessy, Attracta Brady, Steph Geremia, Joanne Quirke, Deirdre Hurley, Anne Sheehy-McAuliffe, Deirdre Collis, Bríd O’Gorman, Majella O’Beirne, Clodach NicRuairí, Bríd O’Donohue, Ger McNamara, Kay Webster, Jillian Ní Mháille, Eibhlín de Paor, Eimear McGeown, Anna Friel, Michelle Foy, Joanie Madden, Eileen Clune-Goodman, Louise Mulcahy, Eibhlís Ní Shúilleabháin, Ríoghnach Connolly, Margie Mulvihill - Teresa Gardiner's/Peg McGrath's A collection of female flute players brought together by Aoife Granville to celebrate International Women's Day 2021. Powerful stuff! Macdara Ó Faoláin - The Cuckoo's Nest / An Spailpín Fánach Éimhear Flannery (vocals ) and Ciaran Kelly (guitar) - Taimse Agus Maire Jill McAuley (banjo) - The Sailor On The Rock/Paddy's Gone To France Macdara Ó Faoláin - Dursey Sound / Glenbeg Lake / The Sunny Hills of Beara - 3 jigs by John Dwyer Stevie Dunne (banjo) and Gerdy Thompson (guitar) - a set of tunes and a bit of chat at Custy's Music Shop Harry Bradley and Michael Clarkson (both flute, Belfast) - Ryan's/The Glory Reel Anders Trajberg (accordion) - The College Groves/The Old Torn Petticoat Beolach - Slip Set (An Drochaid/Scottsville Reel/The Foxhunters'/Walkin' the Floor) Stirring stuff from Cape Breton. Damp In The Attic : John Dwyer's/The Connaughtmans' Rambles/Paddy Taylor's/Anderson's Bobby Gardiner (accordion) and Johnny "Ringo" McDonagh (bodhrán) - The Humours Of Glendart/The Swallowtail Reel Brothers Colm (concertina), Seán (banjo) & Liam (accordion) Browne from Cree, County Clare with a set of reels. Cormac Ó Beaglaíoch - Joe Bane's/The Gypsy Princess Ciaran Kelly - Step It Out, Joe/Murphy The Big Man Dick Hogan - Muldoon, The Solid Man The Bonny Men - The New Jigs Ciaran Kelly - Jenny's Chickens/Tommy Peoples'/The Glass Of Beer