Traditional tunes played by Aidan Crossey

Last updated 8 February 2021

I used to host these tunes and tune sets in the “notable players of the Irish mandolin” page. But I’d prefer to keep that space as a showcase for some of the superb mandolin talent who have kindly shared their music with me and have allowed me to share it with you…

So these are various recordings I’ve made over the years which I’m happy to “put out there”, warts and all…

8 February 2021. The Humours Of Ballyconnell/Craig’s Pipes. In late January 2021 I was delighted (and a little shocked!) to have been invited to take part in the Blarney Pilgrims podcast which is a gem of an idea. A lengthy discussion with a player of Irish music which goes into some detail about what drew them to the music in the first place, their influences, their lives, what they had for breakfast that morning (I joke only slightly…). And said interviewee plays a few tunes along the way. For those with a lot of time on their hands, you can find my interview here Aidan Crossey Interview (Mandolin) — The Blarney Pilgrims Podcast. Darren, the interviewer, asked me to prepare a set of tunes in advance which he would use to “play out” the interview if time allowed. Time didn’t and so, here you go – let’s not let it go to waste! Listen to Aidan Crossey playing The Humours Of Ballyconnell/Craig’s Pipes on his G&O #34 mandolin.

20 January 2021. Sometimes a set of tunes becomes our signature set – the one we turn to when we need to be on rock-solid ground. For me, at this point in time, the set in question is The Nightcap/The Frost Is All Over. I was trying out different positions in which to stand my Zoom H1n digital recorder this evening and was using this as my test recording. I quite liked the energy in this take and so I decided to keep it. (Despite the fact that my foot tapping in the first few seconds registers as a bassy boom in the first few seconds and the mic has picked up the sound of a low-flying plane during the second jig…) Listen to Aidan playing The Nightcap/The Frost Is All Over here.

18 January 2021. I used to play at a session where the regime was strictly purist – apart from two tunes which made a regular appearance courtesy of the session leader, a mighty fiddler. The tunes in question were The Tennessee Waltz (which was usually combined in a set with a trad Irish waltz and which the session as a whole tended to pile into) and the tune which I have just recorded, Ragtime Annie which was either played standalone or straight into a reel in D such as The Mountain Road. Few other players were much taken with this tune but it sits really well on mandolin/banjo and so I was one of the few who chimed in with him. (There’s a third part to the tune with a key shift to G but we didn’t give that part house-room – and to my mind it’s a far better tune as a two-parter.) Listen to Aidan Crossey playing Ragtime Annie.

17 January 2021. I was playing around yesterday on the G&O mandolin which was recently gifted to me by its maker, Michael Gregory, and I decided to re-record two pieces which I have previously recorded. Farewell To Whiskey/No. 5 combines a polka with a 2/4 march (No. 5) which I am told (whisper it) may have come from the Orange fifing tradition. That wouldn’t be surprising since I learned it from the playing of Gary Hastings, who has collected many tunes from that tradition (e.g. see his book “With Fife And Drum” which is a really interesting read from an ethnomusicological perspective). The second recording is of the Scottish air Hector The Hero, composed by James Scott Skinner. This has become quite popular in Irish music circles, largely due to Tommy Peoples’ playing with The Bothy Band.

Listen to Aidan Crossey playing Farewell To Whiskey/No. 5

Listen to Aidan Crossey playing Hector The Hero

13 January 2021. Some time ago I recorded a version of the song air Sliabh na mBán, inspired by the singing of melodeon player and singer Breandánn O Beaglaoich. On listening to it again, I was tempted to re-record it using my current home recording set-up and current octave mandola – an Ashbury A Style. This is the result. Listen to Aidan Crossey playing Sliabh na mBán here.

There now follows a slew of recordings which I made during the mid-2000s and which I have rescued here…

(Hector The Hero – by Scott Skinner)

(Flower Among Them All – a slow 4/4 tune from Northumbria)

(Farewell to Erin – reel)

(Dunmore Lassies – reel)

(Two Mazurkas)

(The Ace And Deuce Of Pipering – set dance, or long dance)

(The Congress/The Monaghan Twig – set of reels)

(The Boyne Hunt/The Silver Spear – set of reels)

(Farewell To The Bay – waltz, composed by Aidan Crossey)

(King Of The Pipers – 5-part jig)

(Shandon Bells/The Nightcap – jigs, specially recorded for this website, 27th October 2006)

(The Broadway/Chief O’Neill’s Favourite – hornpipes, specially recorded for this website, 27th October 2006)

(Father Kelly’s/Farewell To The White Horse – reels, the second composed by Aidan Crossey, specially recorded for this website, 27th October 2006)

(The Walls Of Liscarroll/Garret Barry’s – jigs, specially recorded for this website, 27th October 2006)

(The Old Bush – reel, specially recorded for this website, 27th October 2006)

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