Well Folks, we are delighted to Launch our two Albums tomorrow night – starting at 8pm in Droichead Arts Centre. We have been working on Much Blindin’ Down the Marsh for the last few months and a big thanks is due to Wally, Eilis and Donal for all their hard work. Donal , in particular did some brilliant work on the recording and mastering side and we would like to thank all the Staff in louthlouthmusic offices for all their hard work behind the scenes in preparing for the launch. We also be presenting music from the Madam, I’d Like to Be Tossin Your Hay and Pitcher Hill CDs at the Launch
We are delighted to be able to Launch the Pitcher Hill CD at last. It has lain in the vaults since 2002. It hopefully be a fitting testament to the great Wally Murphy, a brilliant songwriter and musician who will at last get the recognition he deserves in his home town.
I’m delighted to announce the imminent Launch of TWO (yes two) Albums. The first is ‘ Much Blindin’ Down the Marsh’ – my follow up to ‘Madam I’d like to be Tossin’ Your Hay’ .
As I was finishing the album with Donal, I came across minidiscs of recordings made by Pitcher Hill in 2002. Pitcher Hill was Wally, myself and Johnny Gray and in a big way this album is released to showcase Wally’s songwriting and banjo style. Watch this space for further announcements !.
Pitcher Hill 2002
This is the first of a number of reminisences of my 30-year involvement with Joe Ryan , the great fiddler and craftsman…. Goin’ Down with Joe (No 1)
This is the story of my introduction to music.After I heard Woody Guthrie for the first time, my life changed forever………
In 1981 Joe teamed up with Eddie Clarke to produce one of Irish traditional music’s most important albums, a recording of duets of Fiddle and chromatic Harmonica. Cavan man Eddie has been avid listener at Joe and John Kelly’s Session at O’Donoghue’s on Friday and Saturday nights. The album shows the uncanny closeness of the fiddle and harmonica playing, particularly in the phrasing and rolling. Joe said that Eddie would come to listen every weekend ‘for years’ before the enforced absence of John Kelly on one particular night led a fellow-customer in O’Ds to suggest to Joe that himself and Eddie ‘try a few tunes’. In Joe’s words ‘he knew every tune I started !’
Thus began one of Irish traditional music’s great duets…….enjoy !
The Watery Hill Boys with Colin Henry , the Red Room, Cookstown, 2012
This is a tune learned from the late Mick Clifford, Duleek Co Meath, possibly composed by Mick – a great tune to play !
Two of Joe’s favourite reels, he invariably started a session with them.
Joe Ryan was born and reared in Inagh Co Clare and died in March 2008. Despite being steeped in the fiddle music of his native Co Clare, Joe spent much of his life in the Drogheda area, living with his brother Jim in Cooperhill, Julianstown on his return from working in England in 1962.
Joe left his native Clare in 1951 to seek work in Dublin and worked in the building trade until a bad economic slump in 1953 forced Joe and his fellow-tradesmen seek work in London.
Joe’s three major recordings are
Joe Ryan (fiddle) and Eddie Clarke (harmonica) ; Crossroads : 1981 . This is a magnificent recording of two great musicians at the height of their powers. Their duets are stunning, so close is their playing that it is hard to distinguish between the fiddle and the harmonica. This recording was issued by Green Linnet on L.P. and Cassette.
An Buachaill Dreoite – Reels, Jigs, Marches , Waltzes, Set Dances, Airs, Flings and Mazurkas from the legendary Clare Fiddler.
Recorded by Harry Bradshaw in the back lounge of McHugh’s Pub, Chord Road, Drogheda in 1994 and issued by Clo-Iar-Chonnachta.
Clo Iar-Chonnachta 1995 – CICD113
Two Genetleman of Clare Music – Gerdy Commane and Joe Ryan – Custy’s Music .
Recorded in Gerdy Commane’s house in Kilnamona by John O’Connor in 1999.