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PostPosted: Wed Feb 07, 2007 6:06 am 
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Azalin wrote:
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well, i'm still guessing damien connolly. and regardless, i'm going to buy his cd, pronto.

Cee, you are the winner, that's him! He's the King! He's a good guy, really, he's got a super beautiful girlfriend... and he plays the box amazingly! I will buy his CD for sure next time I'm in Catskills...

I just checked out his album on CD Baby: Damien Connolly: Tippin' Away. Nice stuff, there are seven 2-minute samples. You can hear several different-sounding boxes. I even like the guitar by Pete Mancuso, subdued and textural, a far cry from the chord-banging I usually hear.


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 07, 2007 8:37 am 
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Sylvester wrote:
Is he playing a C#/D or a B/C?


He plays B/C. Made by his da.

Yes, lovely people the pair of them, and their baby is cute too!

PS The last sentence is not meant to imply that he had a baby with his father... "they" refers to Damien and his wife. :D


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 14, 2007 1:38 am 
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oh, my god. here is a clip from the upcoming cd by christy mcnamara, east clare box player and photographer. this is....liquid velvet----it seems to just start playing on the home page of his new site and is a "duet" of him playing accordion and also playing concertina.....liquid velvet, straight outta east clare:

http://www.christymcnamara.com


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 14, 2007 7:25 am 
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Thanks for that, ceemonster. Last night I was trying unsuccessfully to recall how the tune "The Fair-haired child" from the Lonely Stranded Band record started. And there it is, third tune in that set played by Christy M, with the same instrumentation to boot.

Some wonderful photos there too.


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 21, 2007 5:02 pm 
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Damien's CD arrived yesterday and I'm enjoying it mightily. The main revelation is that although Damien is known as a B/C player, and the Kincora box he is using for the most of the cuts is a B/C, he is in fact playing most of the album C#/D style - with the D tunes coming out in C, and so on.

This sounds beautifully mellow, of course but it would appear to be another sign of the drift away from the dominant B/C style. (He's not the first young B/C player I've heard doing this recently.)

There are a few tracks, mostly Quebec tunes, played on a D melodeon and in the liner notes Damien says he studied "the intricacies of melodeon playing" with Sabin Jacques, a great player who lives a few minutes away from me.

Cracking record at all events.


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 21, 2007 11:37 pm 
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oh, that is fascinating---above, while trying to figure out who this was, i was musing that it had a c#/d-esque rhythm to it, and later was asking myself....gee, but isn't damien connolly b/c???????this explains it....


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 27, 2007 8:36 am 
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You could say there's a mix of B/C and C#/D style playing on the record, with C#/D slightly predominating I would say.

Or you could just say this is what happens when players get really good at the box - they are equally at home in both ranges of keys and play a tune in one or the other to suit their mood, or the tune. On some of the sets Damien switches from "C#/D fingering" to "B/C fingering" for an unusual key change (e.g. The watchmaker in Gm rather than Am, followed by Callaghan's ("Now she's purring") in the usual G.

Must be nice to have that complete freedom... something to work towards anyway.

The five tracks on four-voice Quebec-style melodeon I could have done without, mainly because I hear enough of that style around here pretty regularly. He makes a very convincing job of the Quebec style though and I must say that the two Irish reels he plays on the one-row to finish the album make a glorious racket.

The real showpiece is the Edith Piaf waltz, La Foule, on which Damien succeeds in creating the illusion that he's playing, not a 2-row diatonic but a big continental chromatic box - a real tour de force. (Even if it's a bit of an old chestnut - my wife, a Frenchwoman, laughed out loud as soon as she heard the first couple of bars, and then proceeded to sing along with the whole thing...).

Funny thing about waltzes - when I first started the box I thought that trying to play reels on it was madness. (Another beginner asked me after a few weeks which I found easier, jigs or reels, and I replied, waltzes!) Three years on reels are no longer impossible, but I find that every box player who has mastered them needs some fancy waltzes to test their virtuosity. Rather like the way top fiddlers feel obliged to play Sean Maguire style hornpipes, reels no longer presenting a challenge. Except that I much prefer the waltzes... :)

Back to reels - I'm very partial to the tune Miss Langfort so here's a snippet of Damien playing it, followed by two other box players. The last one should be easy to guess, but who's the one in the middle? Don't answer if you have the old LP it was taken from....

Three squeezes on Miss Langfort.


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 27, 2007 11:02 am 
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Azalin wrote:
Heya folks,

Well, I've been making box jokes for the past few years, but I'm being kind of an hypocrite (darn word I never know how to spell). The fact is, one of my favorite musician is a box player, and I could listen to him for hours. He is a very subtle player, and does not play the box like many box players do. With him, it's not about volume and "special effects" (although he can push the special effects a little bit sometimes) but it's all about subtelty and box phrasing, he seems to bring so much life out of his tunes. I can't be totally objective with this because he plays Clare style, I'd say, and it's my favorite style. Nonetheless, you really can do amazing stuff with the box... Here's a clip of him, and the second tune has been composed by himself. A big kiss from me to whoever can guess who he is. (No Steve you can't play this game, especially since I see you often and would have to give you a real kiss!).

http://www.metayer.info/mp3/R09_0039.MP3

PS: I'm not saying there's no other box players like him, but from the few ones I've heard before, he's the one who "fits my taste" the most.


Now that is good stuff. I've fairly recently begun to realize the beauty of Irish box playing and this is some of the nicest I've come across so far. Thanks for that.

_________________
Ramzy Berbawy

I think there's just one kind of folks. Folks.
-Scout Finch


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 Post subject: Damien Connolly
PostPosted: Mon Jul 23, 2007 3:58 pm 
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Damien Connolly here. I was told about this chat just recently at the Catskills, so I thought I'd visit. It is interesting to read the various comments. Thank you all for your commendations. I am quite flattered. Nice to hear some positive things about the box every now and then :)

Next year I am publishing a book on how to play the Irish Accordion, with info in there for B/C and C#D players. I hope it will serve the box community well.

Best

Damien Connolly


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 24, 2007 8:53 am 
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Heya Damien... You've got quite a tremendous memory. When I told you about "chiff" and "fipple", and you were not quite sure about what both words meant, I thought you'd never remember any of this :-)

By the way Damien if you email/PM me your address I can send you the amazing recording of the Cd release/listening session with Tim Collins and Brian McNamara, with the Kane sisters, Edel Fox, Mary Bergin, Michael Rooney & June McKormack and Mike Rafferty. I'm sure you'd enjoy.


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 Post subject: Re: Damien Connolly
PostPosted: Tue Jul 24, 2007 9:10 am 
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Hello Damien,

It was great hearing you again in the Catskills - on fiddle too! And I'm glad you had the idea :wink: of putting some stuff for C#D players into your book.

If you feel so inclined, don't be shy of sharing your wisdom around here, either. There may be some one-eyed men in this particular country of the blind but we could all benefit from the knowledge of someone with your vision and talent.

Cheers
Steve


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 25, 2007 2:04 pm 
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i confess that i did my part in the catskills last week to blab to damien about certain internet discussions regarding his wonderful playing! see, damien, i told you you had a coterie of admirers! btw, i loved your playing in the smaller tent at the saturday festival, plus your story about your dream in which EVERYTHING was playing music, including the diaper!


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 Post subject: Me again
PostPosted: Fri Jul 27, 2007 5:24 am 
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If there's anything I can help with, let me know. I'm not too sure how much can be explained over the internet, in terms of writing only, but I'd try.

damienjconnolly@hotmail.com

I'd love to get that recording too!


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