Tuesday, August 9, 2022

Les Poules huppées

CRESTED HENS, THE (Les Poules huppées). French, Bourrée à 3 temps (3/8 time). E Dorian. Standard tuning (fiddle). Composed in 1983 by French national and hurdy-gurdy (vielle a roue) player, Gilles Chabenat, who remarks that some bars of a Debussy composition served as inspiration for the germ of the tune. It is of a type from central France, where it is also a folk dance, and is usually played at a medium tempo, although this tune is often heard played slower (a la the Irish group Solas who popularized the tune and translated the title). Gilles remarks that the title was a kind of nonsense play, from his teenage years. The tune is often mistakenly ascribed Breton origins, and to varying degrees of antiquity, however, it is a modern composition by Chabenat.

Printed sources: Stevens (Massif Central Tune Book No. 1), 1987; No. 34.

Recorded sources: Karen Ashbrook - "Knock on the Door" (learned at the Victoria Pub, London). Shanachie 78002, "Solas."

See also listing at:  Jane Keefer's Folk Music Index: An Index to Recorded Sources

Hear Solas's recording on youtube.com: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AMfs2UETkEQ

Hear Adam Sweet's recording on youtube.com: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fi_nDzmjTZo

Monday, August 1, 2022

Gearrchailiú an Dúin Mhóir agus An Gearrchaile taobh thiar den Bheár


DUNMORE LASSES (Gearrchailiú an Dúin Mhóir). AKA – "Dunmore Lassies." AKA and see "Morrison's Reel (1)," "Road to Knock (1) (The)." Irish, Reel. E Minor. Standard tuning (fiddle). AB (Breathnach): AA'BB' (Flaherty). O'Sullivan (1983) notes a relationship between this tune and "My Love is in America;" one is nearly a mirror of the other, though in the same key and transposed down one step. Related tunes are "Custom Gap (The)," "Mills are Grinding (3) (The)," "Porthole of the Kelp (The)" and "Tuttle's Reel," certainly in the 'A' part though the 'B' parts differ somewhat. Fiddler Paddy Carty recorded the tune as "Morrison's," perhaps named for flute player Tom Morrison (1889–1958) who recorded the tune on a 78 RPM in New York in September, 1927 (in a medley with "Manchester Reel (2)" and "Castlebar Traveler (The)"). Morrison was originally from Whitepark, near Glennamaddy, North County Galway, write Varlet & Spottswood (1992), and emigrated to New York in 1909.

The name Dunmore means 'the big fort', from the Celtic dun mor. Morrison himself was from Dunmore and styled himself "The Dunmore Flash" as Glennamaddy is not far from Dunmore.

Source for notated version : - flutist Éamonn de Stabaltún (Ireland) [Breathnach]; flute player James Murray (b. 1947, Ougham, near Tubbercurry, Co. Sligo) [Flaherty]. from the playing of piper Séamus Ennis (Dublin), who learned them from his father, a piper taught by Nicholas Markey who in turn had been taught by the renowned piper and pipemaker Billy Taylor of Drogheda and later Philadelphia [Breathnach].

Printed sources : - Breathnach, Ceol: A Journal of Irish Music, vol. 5, no. 2, 1982; p. 53b. Breathnach (The Man and His Music), 1997; No. 6, p. 73. Breathnach (CRÉ 1), 1963; No. 189, p. 74. Flaherty (Trip to Sligo), 1990; p. 164.

Hear Adam Sweet's version on youtube.com: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_t-9pOUU1mc

Bundle and Go

I LOST MY LOVE. AKA and see "Castlemaine Bridge," "I Found My Love in the Morning," “I Love You Not and I Care Not,” “Kiss the Maid Behind the Bier,” “My Love in the Morning,” "My Minnie's Aye Glowren O'er Me," "This Is My Love Do You Like Her?" Scottish, Irish; Jig. A Minor. Standard tuning (fiddle). AABB. Closely related to “Bundle and Go (4).” A variant is “Humors of Tralee” from the James Goodman manuscript collection (mid-19th century, County Cork).

Source for notated version : - John Allan Cameron (Nova Scotia, Canada) [Hinds]; Frank Keane [Stanford/Petrie].

Printed sources : - Hinds/Hébert (Grumbling Old Woman), 1981; p. 24. Kerr (Merry Melodies, vol. 1) c. 1880; No. 1, p. 31. Little (Scottish and Cape Breton Fiddle Music in New Hampshire), 1984; p. 39. Matthews (Callers' Choice 1), 1973. Stanford/Petrie (Complete Collection), 1905; No. 460, p. 116.

Listen to Adam Sweet playing with Woodkerne on YouTube: https://youtu.be/eTECYbfLIug?t=37

Maid Behind The Bar - An Gearrchaile taobh thiar den Bheár

MAID BEHIND THE BAR, THE (An Gearrchaile taobh thiar den Bheár). AKA and see "Barmaid (The)," "Bartender (The)," "Green Mountain," "Haymaker Reel (The)," "Honeycomb (The)," "Indy's Favorite," "Little Judy," "Long Island Reel," "Judy's Reel," "Maid Behind the Barrel (The)," "Maid Behind the Counter (The)," "Maids of Castlebar (The)." Irish, Reel. D Major (most versions): C Major (Cranitch). Standard tuning (fiddle). AABB (most versions): AA'BB (Bain). The tune was popularlized through the recording by Sligo fiddle master James Morrison (and piper Tom Ennis) and has become (along with its variants) one of the most ubiquitous tunes in modern Irish sessions. "Maid behind the Bar" was entered as an untitled reel in Book 2 (No. 278) of the large c. 1883 music manuscript collection of County Leitrim fiddler and piper Stephen Grier (c. 1824-1894). Versions of the melody appear earliest in published collections as "Indy's Favorite" and "Judy's Reel" in Ryan's Mammoth Collection (1883). O'Neill prints the tune also under the title "Maid of Castlebar," but title may be a corruption of "Maid Behind the Bar," or vice-versa.

The second strain of 'Maid' was employed as the third strain of the French-Canadian tune "Ronfluse Gobeil/Snoring Gobeil/Snoring Mrs. Gobeil/Reel St-Siméon," recorded by Jos Bouchard in 1938. See also note for "Long Island Reel."

Lynn "Chirps" Smith, citing Spottswood, finds early recordings by uilleann piper and stage entertainer Patrick J. Patsy Touhey (1865-1923) recorded on cylinder records made between 1901-1919 ("Maid behind the Bar", paired with the jig "Humors of Glynn"). A few years later accordion player Edward Herborn with banjo player James Wheeler recorded "The Maid Behind the Bar" and paired it "The Rambler Jig", a close version of the "Kesh Jig (The)". Ellen O'Byrne was an entrepreneur who saw an opportunity supplying early commercial 78 RPM recordings to the niche market of the Irish community in America. She convinced Columbia to take a chance recording Irish musicians with the Herborn and Wheeler accordion/banjo duo as the first musicians to record Irish dance tunes. "Since the deal required O'Byrne to buy 500 to 1,000 copies in advance to sell through the O'Byrne Dewitt store, she went door-to-door in the Irish neighborhoods to announce the impending release of the recording. The disc sold out in no time and proved there was a market for Irish music in America". Further early 78 RPM recordings include accordion player James Murphy in 1920 and accordion player John "Dutch" Kimmel (who recorded the reel the same year, calling it "The Bartender"). Kimmel also included it in his 1920 cylinder recording for Edison as the last tune in a medley of Irish reels called "Oh gee!" Philippe Varlet notes that flute player John Sheridan waxed it as "Maid Behind the Barrel" in 1928. Much later, County Clare fiddler Vincent Griffin recorded the tune in 1977, played in the rather unusual key of 'C' major.

Printed sources : - Bain (50 Fiddle Solos), 1989; p. 12. Brody (Fiddler's Fakebook), 1983; p. 181. Cranitch (Irish Fiddle Book), 1996; No. 68, p. 151. Cranitch (Irish Session Tunes: Red Book), 2000; 67. Harker (300 Tunes from Mike Rafferty), 2005; No. 4, p. 1. Mallinson (100 Essential), 1995; No. 21, p. 9. Martin & Hughes (Ho-ro-gheallaidh), 1990; p. 34. O'Brien (Jerry O'Brien's Accordion Instructor), Boston, 1949. O'Malley (Luke O'Malley's Collection of Irish Music, vol. 1), 1976; No. 70, p. 35 (appears as "The Barmaid"). Perlman (The Fiddle Music of Prince Edward Island), 1996; p. 73. Sullivan (Session Tunes), vol. 2; No. 7, p. 4. Tubridy (Irish Traditional Music, vol. 1), 1999; p. 20.

Mist Covered Mountain

Mist-Covered Mountain, The / The Mist Covered Mountain / Mist Covered Mountain / "Mist

Covered" Mountain / The Mist Covered Mountains / Mist on the Mountain / Misty Mountain / An Cnoc Faoi Cheo / Sliabh an Cheo (1st in set Jig C Jig on Drv 1; 1st in set Tell Her I Am on MSHTn 1; 1st in set A Mist Covered Brandon on TEdey 1; as Gan Ainm on JDr 6; 1st in set The Lost & Found on FullSt 1) (also in G or D or E or B) (composed by Martin "Junior" Crehan)

Introducing Skill Blocks

You may now purchase a mandolin or fiddle skill block for only $10! Skill Blocks are Videos created specifically to teach a skill. Each skill block is approximately 15 minutes. Once you purchase a skill block, you own it forever. You may share it or keep it to yourself. 

Here is a list of currently available skill blocks for mandolin or fiddle:

  • All scales, arpeggios, and chords
  • How to play a typical bluegrass chord progression
  • How to sing and play at the same time
  • How to improvise in any key 
  • Bluegrass licks, endings and fills
  • How to practice the 7 Church modes 
  • How to practice the Klezmer modes
  • Introduction to Instruments: Mandolin, Mandola, Mandocello, Octave Mandolin/Irish Bouzouki, Tenor Banjo
  • How to use Irish/Celtic ornamentation on the mandolin/fiddle
  • Typical right hand ornamentation for fiddle/mandolin

...and much more.  

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If you have any questions don't hesitate to ask

Friday, May 20, 2022

Some of my favorite musicians

I play and teach mandolin and fiddle.  The styles I play (and teach) are Celtic and Bluegrass, Classical and Balkan.  

Some of my most favorite musicians per style are:


  • Frankie Gavin - fiddler, De Dannan
  • Seán Smyth - fiddler, Lunasa
  • Winifred Horan - fiddler, Solas
  • Claudine Langille - mandolin, tenor banjo
  • Billy Oskay - fiddler, recording engineer, Night NOise
  • Johnny "Ringo" McDonagh - bodhran, De Dannan
  • Tommy Peoples - fiddler
  • Alisdair Frasier - fiddler
  • Stuart Duncan - Nashville session player
  • Jason Carter - fiddler, Travelin' McCoury's
  • Scotty Stoneman - fiddler, The Kentucky Colonels
  • Vassar Clemens - fiddler, Old and In The Way
  • Richard Greene - fiddler, Mule Skinner
  • Darol Anger - fiddler, the David Grisman Quintet
  • Isaac Stern - concert violinist
  • Yehudi Menuhin - concert violinist
  • Pablo Casals - cellist and conductor
  • Jacqueline du Pré - concert cellist
  • Isaac Perlman - concert violinist
  • Michael Tree - violist, Guarneri Quartet
  • Alicia Svigals - fiddler, Klezmatics
  • Jascha Heifetz - violinist
  • Baron Menuhin
  • Kenny Kosek
  • Daniel Hoffman - fiddler, Klez-X

Les Poules huppées

CRESTED HENS, THE (Les Poules huppées). French, Bourrée à 3 temps (3/8 time). E Dorian. Standard tuning (fiddle). Composed in 1983 by French...