The Lonesome Fiddler : The music tradition of East Galway and Eddie Kelly

This is a track from The Lonesome Fiddler by Éilís Crean.  It was released towards the end of last year and has in that time gained some very positive reviews.  The press release states that it is a much-needed reminder of the true origins of traditional Irish music.  It showcases the East Galway Irish music tradition as played by the legendary Eddie Kelly who was a musician and composer from Eyrecourt in Galway.

"I am beyond excited that The Lonesome Fiddler has finally debuted and the outpouring of support for the East Galway Irish Music Tradition and the music of Eddie Kelly has been truly humbling," says fiddle player Éilís Crean.  “This album is in honor of my father as well as my teacher, Eddie Kelly and I am passionate about how important that it is to preserve this particular music tradition that is in danger dying out."

Crean is joined on this album by four distinguished artists, namely John Doyle, Kevin Crawford, Dermot Byrne and Kenny Malone.

"Nowadays regional styles are far more difficult to define in an age where we have instant access to every Irish musician on the planet. The World Wide Web, mp3 downloads, CD’s, ease of travel etc mean that our influences these days are drawn from a much bigger melting pot” says celebrated Irish flute-player Kevin Crawford. "The search for the Holy Grail is made easier however when new recordings come about that pay homage to and acknowledge the contributions made by these musicians from previous generations”

Crawford finishes by saying that Éilís Crean has achieved all of this and more on her debut recording The Lonesome Fiddler. Respect, passion, pride of place and attention to detail are evident throughout this album and indeed throughout every conversation that one has with Éilís about the music and musicians of East Galway.

As a fiddle-player growing up in Co. Roscommon, Ireland, Éilís was taught by the highly esteemed and legendary Eddie Kelly, who played a large part in her upbringing, providing her with hours of instruction through the artful arrangement of his notes during weekly lessons.

Kelly became most famous for a haunting reel that he composed, always known simply as Eddie Kelly’s reel. Crean’s album now places the actual name of this beautiful piece of music as The Lonesome Fiddler, which is the title track of the album. It has been recorded by numerous musicians including Liz Carroll, Kevin and Seamus Glackin on their Northern Lights album and separately by Paddy Glackin and Jolyon Jackson.  Eddie’s original recording of this tune and other recordings are available on website. It's the only source of his music.

Éilís is an awarded musician herself, having won prizes at various events throughout Ireland and Great Britain. Although Éilís’ profession is healthcare IT consulting, her true passion is teaching The East Galway Irish Music Tradition in Eddie’s inimitable way. She is an original artist; each musical piece is a sui generis and she derives great joy from passing the style along to those who want to learn it.

Éilís' goal is to have one hundred students learning and playing this style before the end of 2015!. A lofty aspiration one might say yet The Irish Gift, Inc, an online education company founded by Crean three years ago has continued to grow and will no doubt see this goal come to fruition.

The Lonesome Fiddler album features the music of Eddie Kelly and his unique versions of old and familiar tunes. The East Galway regional expression of traditional Irish music has yet to find the recognition that it richly deserves. Through the years there has only been a handful of fiddle-players who were proponents of this style. To date we only have six fiddle players, Eddie Kelly, Paddy Fahy, Liam Lewis, Breda Keville & Éilís Crean. These musicians began their musical lives with this tradition and have been faithful to it for their whole lives; that's the ultimate definition of an East Galway fiddle-player. Source : Artist Press Release

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