Traditional Irish Music
Welcome to Tradconnect’s Worldwide Album Launch Series. For these launches we are working with over 70 radio broadcasters globally, making new traditional releases available for immediate free download through our Download Centre. For artists this makes an online launch a truly global event with radio stations around the world gaining immediate access to the album.
The last time we encountered Longford fiddler Éamon McGivney he was in the company of Peadar Ó Riada and John Kelly for a trio album. That recording went under the name, The Drôle, and was recorded at the home of Peadar in Cúil Aodha in Cork. For this album Éamon has once again returned to Cúil Aodha with a solo recording that includes 16 tracks of traditional Irish music on fiddle, from Longford and Clare.
Éamon is originally from a few miles outside Granard in County Longford. His Grandfather, Ned Fagan, was a fiddle player and played for house dances and for step dancers in the local area. “He played by note and always consulted the dancing masters for definitive settings of tunes” he says. “These dancing masters were the authorities when it came to versions of dance pieces. In those days there were very few other references to rely on in that part of the country, especially when it came to solo dance pieces. Single jigs, flings and barn dances were also popular at country house dances as well as reels and double jigs.”
“In my early years I played the button box having been taught by Father John Quinn, a great man of music, in Granard. I played with Peter Carberry, Patsy Hanley, Hughie Reilly, Packie Duignan, Kevin O'Brien and many great players from the Longford, Roscommon, Cavan and Leitrim areas. I always had fiddle music in my head though and over time the box went silent and I eventually ended up playing the fiddle.”
In the early seventies Éamon moved to Dublin where his music making continued in the company of players like John Kelly, who was originally from Rehy in West Clare, as well as his sons James and John. He also played with Joe Ryan and Tony McMahon whose “contribution to tradition, as a performer and through his work on television and radio, has been phenomenal” he says.
This recording includes 16 tracks of unaccompanied fiddle music from Longford and Clare with 26 tunes in total. Included below is The Longford Collector and The Hen and Her Clutch. This is an old version of The Longford Collector and both tunes were penned in a manuscript for Thomas Kiernan, a 19th century blind fiddle player from Drumlish in Co.Longford.
During his time in Dublin Éamon also met up with Martin Byrnes and Paddy O'Brien from Offaly, and he also got to know Bobby Casey and John Kelly as stated. “Bobby was a very modest man and a genius” he says. “He came from Annagh Cross near Mullagh in West Clare. John Kelly was a wonderful musician and he kept the music alive in Dublin when traditional music wasn’t popular, and he was a great mentor for an entire younger generation of musicians in the sixties and seventies.”
On his love for Clare and its music he says “I found that the music of West Clare had an accent and a special type of rhythm which was unique to the area. I had heard it originally in Willie Clancy's piping and when I eventually came to live in West Clare I was surrounded by this wonderful music. For years I played with Junior Crehan, Tommy McCarthy, Micho Russell, Peadar O'Loughlin, Paddy Galvin, Michael Falsey, John Joe Tuttle, Michael Downes and many more fine musicians too numerous to mention. Junior was a great friend and neighbour and I will always remember the great Sunday nights at Gleeson's Pub in Coore.”
The album is now on release and can be purchased from firstname.lastname@example.org and all the usual outlets.
For broadcasters that are part of our Download Centre the album is FREE and all liner notes are included. Follow the link below.
Recorded in Cúil Aodha
Photographs and Sleeve Notes : Éamon McGivney
Photographs of John Kelly Courtesy of John Kelly Junior
Design : Edel Butler
Printing : Dutec
Engineered & Produced by : Draoinscath www.peadaroriada.ie
Tradconnect's Worldwide Launch Articles are commercial pieces that mark the addition of an album to our Download Centre, where broadcasters can access the album and download it for free to play on their various radio stations. Content for these articles is sourced from the artists press release and liner notes, supplemented with additional content from the artist as required. If you would like to find out more about this initiative please contact us.
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