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PostPosted: Sat Mar 05, 2016 1:51 pm 
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Mr.Gumby wrote:
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Doesn't Geoff look uber-cool, with fag and slipover...



Image Geoff with the Fr Doughal tanktop and myself with the Harry Potter specs, the eighties were full of great fashion statements weren't they? Image


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perhaps because he made but one album.


Not if you take the Moore street studio 78s, the Gael Linn 78s, his recordings for O'Riada's Musical Heritage and the contributions to Drones & Chanters into account, and perhaps the odd bit for the Abbey Tavern (group) recordings. First I came across him was playing the Cook in the Kitchen with the Dubliners by the way, it just took me years to realise it was him`on that recording. And there's the classic and highly influential Peter O'Loughlin home recording that is widely distributed among pipers and other tapes floating about as well.

Here's an image from the cover of one of the Abbey Tavern's lps, Reck as part of the group, Geoff will remember our encounters with the spoons player:

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Don't know if I recall the Spoons basher. Interesting picture, makes one wonder if the banjo player was tuned down to those B Pipes.


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 05, 2016 1:56 pm 
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ChristianRo wrote:
Thanks for your contributions, people. PCL, now that is a great statement. I can instantly relate to that.
Oh, and I dig your photos, Peter. Doesn't Geoff look uber-cool, with fag and slipover...



Nice to know I look 'uber-cool'... all the clothes came from a charity shop... my hair is currently a little paler but also twice as long. That poping strap looks nice and clean.... I still have it.... it is my second one since 1978... not quite so clean these days though!


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 05, 2016 3:08 pm 
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No I didn't. Der! Thanks.

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PostPosted: Sat Mar 05, 2016 3:22 pm 
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The Gael Linn ones, or at least some are on this one (which is all good stuff anyway):

Image

The earlier Bill Stapleton recordings are on one of the compilation albums but not sure which one, I can't stick them briefly on-line if you have trouble finding them. There's a recording from 1957 that came from TR himself, by a Fr Clancy that I have digitised I can put a few bits of that up as well.

Then you have a few tracks of Reck playing with Joe Ryan at the Rupert Guinness Hall that were broadcast on RTE radio, I have those but not digitised. Kevin will have those too. Joe and Tommy went particularly well together.

I have hours and hours of not digitised tapes from 1989, Miltown, Dutch tionol stuff and and the post tionol nights, the Ace and Deuce concert tracks with Peter O Loughlin. There were also broadcasts after Tommy died some pof those programmes had recordings of him, other that the usual but I don't recall exactly what,. Should have those tapes somewhere too somewhere, I remember someone gave them to me anyway. There's some stuff from the Ring tionol John mentioned above, I have heard some but I am not sure I have it myself.

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Don't know if I recall the Spoons basher.


I am sure you do, he was PJ Downes. And I have a vivid memory of him joining you. I don't blame you if it turns out you suppressed the memory of it.


[added:]

This is the 78rpm, two sides, that was recorded by Bill Stapleton in the Moore st studios in (I believe) 1948. Tommy told us he just went in when he was asked, played his tunes, got £25 and never heard anything more about it.

On the monday morning after the Dutch tionol of 1989 we all were at Robert van Dijk's house after a long night of listening to Tommy, chatting and picking his brain for more tunes (and trying,successfully, to coax him away from his regular 'safe' tunes). Some of us got up early (I slept on the floor, not too comfortable) and we were listening to some discs from Robert's collection of piping 78rpms. While we were listening to this one Tommy came in, looking for a breakfast. He was delighted hearing the recording as he had never heard it before, or so he said.

Anyhow, this is the one (the very same disc, actually):

Alexander's / Higgins' hrnps

Scholar / Salamanca / Hand me down the tackle

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PostPosted: Sat Mar 05, 2016 9:10 pm 
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And here: https://archive.org/details/TommyReckTh ... aTomSteele

Slightly disgressing, some snippets from reviews of Abbey Tavern Singers' concerts in Canada:

"The Ilian (sic), a two-octave bagpipe affair, did well on solos, but … suffered from Canadian central heating … ." The Windsor Star, 8 Feb 1967.

"Among the unusual talents the Abbey Tavern Singers have gathered to themselves ... another musician who plays a 150-year-old set of Aeolian (sic) pipes: and, of course, the astonishing sleight-of-hand which P. J. Downs (sic) employs in his spoon-playing." Ottawa Citizen, 4 Nov 1968.

See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abbey_Tavern_Singers for links, etc.

It's no better on the liner notes of the ATS album We're Off to Dublin in the Green: "TOMMY RECK, who plays the Illin (sic) pipes, which is an improved bagpipe … ."

There are some tune tracks on their album You Don't Have to Be Irish …, but no pipes that I can hear behind the awful racket of the spoons. If my car sounded like those spoons, I'd roll it off a cliff.

Can any South Australian confirm that Margaret Monks, singer, living in Adelaide, is the one and the same who sang with the Abbey Tavern Singers?


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 06, 2016 3:11 am 
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One of the Abbey Tavern lps, Traditional Music and Song has some instrumental sets of Tommy Reck with Mick O Connor, Ciaran O Reilly, Bill Power and others. Several copies of it on ebay at the minute*, quite a few in Canada and the US. Seán Keane makes an appearance on the fiddle as well on this one.

The 'On Tour' lp has a nice pic of the group with TR sporting his Crowley concert pitch set, by the looks of it with a Matt Kiernan chanter.

It wasn't uncommon for great traditional players to take part in folk/ballad set ups like the Abbey Tavern singers, for lack of interest and opportunity to otherwise play out much. See also Peter O Loughlin and Paddy Canny recording with the Bunratty Castle group. Some decent piping there by POL.

[* brilliant how all the copies of that lp sold within two hours of posting this Image ]


This is one of the tracks he recorded for O'Riada's 'Our Musical Heritage' :

Miss McLeod's / The Dogs among the Bushes

He played the Dogs among the Bushes for us several times in 1989 and got the possibilities of how to get the barking of the dogs into the tune across very clearly. Which made me think all these tunes with Geese and Dogs in their titles actually have scope for letting the sounds of the animals creep in (see also Ennis' description of what tDatB evokes).


He sometimes played O'Riada's Ag Criost an Siol, slower perhaps than I would hear it sung by, for example, the men of Cór Cuil Aodha. Here from a tape Tommy himself recorded at home:

Ag Criost an Siol

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 06, 2016 3:26 pm 
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"And there's the classic and highly influential Peter O'Loughlin home recording that is widely distributed among pipers and other tapes floating about as well."

anyone I can ask for a copy of this Peter O'Loughlin recording gem?
Thanks for posting the tunes, too. Some I had but not the hornpipes or Miss McLeod's/ The Dog Among the Bushes.

His playing is just delightful. Maybe that's not the right word.... it just makes me feel good, though. :) Can't seem to get enough.

K


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 07, 2016 3:02 am 
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I somehow took for granted every piper would thoroughly know such a classic. This is really a piece of foundation, a touchstone to all pipers I know. Silly me, apparently.

Anyway, a sample. A classic track in itself : The Yellow Tinker / Miss McGuinnes / Corney is coming

In most versions of the tape there are about 30 tracks in all, including a few (4 or 5) that were taken from radio broadcasts.

I'll leave the files up for a few more days.

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 07, 2016 5:20 am 
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Thank you, Mr Gumby, for Tommy's Ag Críost an Síol. Words by Micheál Ó Síothcháin (Michael Sheehan). He was a bishop in Sydney in the late 1920s-1930s. I remember my grandparents talking about him.


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 07, 2016 8:48 am 
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Just found this on Rob van Dijk's website: http://thescholar-uilleann.nl/profile/0 ... 0reck.html
Some more lovely shots from the 1989 Dutch tionól. The whole website is a good read for piping enthusiasts (well, if you can read Dutch, that is..). I like Rob's description of Tommy as "the Greta Garbo of piping"

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 07, 2016 9:00 am 
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more lovely shots from the 1990 Dutch tionól.


I had never seen his site. Hehe, he has a pic of me playing his old pipes, wearing my Magritte 'this is not a pipe' t-shirt on it.

FWIW, Rob and myself collaborated on a number of Reck transcriptions that appeared in An Piobaire. Tommy Keane did a few as well over time.

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Last edited by Mr.Gumby on Mon Mar 07, 2016 11:29 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 07, 2016 9:59 am 
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Thank you for the mp3's Peter, lovely stuff!

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 07, 2016 3:01 pm 
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Are they making any headway on issuing the 1960 tape commercially? Or is anybody even bothering. That should be in every home, like the Ennis Return to Fingal, it's that great. I put a couple of cuts on my "Irish Pipers of the Past" playlist on YouTube, for the curious.

Another aspect of the 1960 tape is you hear the missus slam the door quite noisily at one point, she wasn't a fan. Was it here that I heard about her chucking a set of Tommy's into the fire? Concert pitch, obviously. His mates helped him get a new set, which he had to secret away elsewhere...

Didn't know about Robert's site either, interesting stuff.

Pat Sky once summarized how to play like Tommy: just play everything completely tight, even things you'd never think to do so, the example he had was the Donegal Reel, everybody else would play those opening few notes completely off the knee, Tommy would put the chanter down for them though. The fellow who gave me my start thought Tommy sounded like an Irish piper making like a player of the Northumbrian instrument, an interesting perspective from someone who was a real outsider - this person mostly played the GHB.

Of course Tommy was constantly raising the chanter for effects but the foundation of it all was as tight as possible. Touhey and his colleagues were the same but even more pure, they never took the chanter up for those wailing barking sounds, choosing instead to emphasize things with stops and graces. The same piper I mention above thought Touhey's more elaborate graces looked very akin to pibroch.


Last edited by Kevin L. Rietmann on Mon Mar 07, 2016 3:19 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 07, 2016 3:14 pm 
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Was it here that I heard about her chucking a set of Tommy's into the fire? Concert pitch, obviously.


It was the bellows, from what I heard, but a lot of those stories may well be apocryphal.

During the very early eighties I met Tommy's son Seán, in the most unlikeliest of places I must add. Anyhow, he was playing his father's concert pitch Crowley, which he said got mangled in a car accident and restored before he got it off Tommy.

I have been considering to quickly digitise some more Reck recordings for this thread but I don't know, I am scanning my negatives, which is a slow job and that has me at the computer a lot, too much, at the minute. I'd rather sit down and play my pipes if I can. But we'll see how it goes.

While I have the negs on the table, here are a few more shots, with the exception of one I have left out the ones already on Robert's site.

Geoff snatched my camera to take this one of Tommy playing the Harrington C with Robert (centre) and myself:

Image

Tommy during his Dutch tionol recital:

Image

Geoff and Tommy Reck:

Image

and the man himself again:

Image

The last two on the post-tionol Monday morning at Robert's, Tommy playing Rob's Ginzo C.

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Last edited by Mr.Gumby on Wed Mar 09, 2016 10:24 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 08, 2016 2:49 pm 
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Thanks for sharing the tunes, stories, and pictures - all great stuff.


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