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PostPosted: Tue Jan 08, 2019 5:48 pm 
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[quote="PB+J"] traditions. But then what abut those well known morrison flute and bodhran recordings?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a-blZR7M-DI


I am so terribly bad with names. I know the second tune, but the name won't come to me until two o'clock in the morning. Does anyone have the names for the tunes in this set handy? Thanks in advance.


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 08, 2019 6:29 pm 
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busterbill wrote:
PB+J wrote:
traditions. But then what abut those well known morrison flute and bodhran recordings?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a-blZR7M-DI


I am so terribly bad with names. I know the second tune, but the name won't come to me until two o'clock in the morning. Does anyone have the names for the tunes in this set handy? Thanks in advance.



According to the listing the tunes are Dunmore Lasses, the Galway Rambler and the Laurel Tree.


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 09, 2019 12:32 am 
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PB+J wrote:
According to the listing the tunes are Dunmore Lasses, the Galway Rambler and the Laurel Tree.

The first two tunes are as everyone knows them. However, The Laurel Tree, whilst recognisably the tune of that name, is very different from the version with which I'm familiar. It's close to sounding like a different tune to me.

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 09, 2019 2:41 pm 
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On a separate (but related) note, do we know what kind of flute that Morrison recording was made on? Seem like it's a step above "normal" pitch, but I don't know if it's a flat F flute, a sharp Eb, something approaching E, or if the speed of the recording is slightly off and affecting the pitch.


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 10, 2019 10:31 am 
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PB+J wrote:
busterbill wrote:
PB+J wrote:
traditions. But then what abut those well known morrison flute and bodhran recordings?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a-blZR7M-DI


I am so terribly bad with names. I know the second tune, but the name won't come to me until two o'clock in the morning. Does anyone have the names for the tunes in this set handy? Thanks in advance.



According to the listing the tunes are Dunmore Lasses, the Galway Rambler and the Laurel Tree.



Thanks. I've been playing the Galway Rambler version from Kevin Henry's CD which is pretty close to this, and the Dunmore Lasses sounded sort of like the Dunmore Lasses, but my version is slightly different, probably heavily influenced by the Chieftains. Weirdly enough, when I was learning Dunmore Lasses I ran into a YouTube Video of a Indian man playing it on Sitar. And his image often jumps into my head while playing it. But I am hijacking this thread. LOL. I don't think I ever learned the Laurel Tree. That's something to look forward to. I am currently on a hop jig cycle, though, which is great fun!


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 23, 2019 11:22 am 
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Just as an afterthought to the original subject of this threads I ended up thinking of Micho Russell who, in his inimitable slightly incoherent way, talked about flutes and flute making. He basically said flutes were 'hard to be got' although some were made from 'bamboos' that were washed in on the tide but 'they were hard to get in the right tuning'. In the same clip he also talks about a man coming 'back from America' and demonstrates the way he played jigs, remarking specifically how it was 'an older style of playing' different from the way we hear them now. His example is not of the flowing kind.

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 23, 2019 12:36 pm 
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Mr.Gumby wrote:
Just as an afterthought to the original subject of this threads I ended up thinking of Micho Russell who, in his inimitable slightly incoherent way, talked about flutes and flute making. He basically said flutes were 'hard to be got' although some were made from 'bamboos' that were washed in on the tide but 'they were hard to get in the right tuning'. In the same clip he also talks about a man coming 'back from America' and demonstrates the way he played jigs, remarking specifically how it was 'an older style of playing' different from the way we hear them now. His example is not of the flowing kind.



You'd expect that someone coming back from America would either reflect an old fashioned style of playing that was in vogue when he left lo those many years ago, or would be inflected by the influence of US pop culture, which even in 1915 was a kind of relentless industrialized mechanism.

Somebody like Touhey, who was really a hard core vaudevillian, had to have learned how to quickly grab and hold the interest of a completely mixed audience (Italian, German, polish, bohemian, jewish Scandinavian African American, probably also asian and hispanic), and he likely shared the bill and the backstage with lots of other ethnic musical acts comparing notes on what did and didn't work in Dubuque. The Vaudeville circuit could involve playing multiple times a day, everyday, for 9 months of the year. Touhey would have learned how to quickly charm any audience, not just an audience of homesick irishmen. I'm especially interested in Coleman, who is said to have spent five or so years on the Keith circuit. There's not much detail on it that I've found yet: some accounts describe him having a song and dance act. I'm planning to go to Ireland in the spring to see what I can find about Coleman in Vaudeville.


I do love Micho's playing. It's so smart and full of life. Dumb question, but would he have had records growing up? He says he started playing at age 11, so 1921. Coleman's records reach Ireland in the 1920s. Radio is rare in the US in 1921, but eight years later it's ubiquitous. Would he have had a radio in the house as a young man? I'm guessing no--my wife's relatives, from Saltmill in Wexford, didn't get electricity until the 1950s and they remember their father setting up radio speakers outside the family general store, so everyone could listen in.

In the documentary he says you had to be careful about practicing the whistle because the neighbors would frown upon whistle playing when work should be getting done, at least that's what I think he said. My favorite part of that documentary is the expression on his face when Mick Maloney asks hm "what did music mean to you." It was not the right question to ask, I think.


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 23, 2019 1:13 pm 
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Dumb question, but would he have had records growing up? He says he started playing at age 11, so 1921. Coleman's records reach Ireland in the 1920s. Radio is rare in the US in 1921, but eight years later it's ubiquitous. Would he have had a radio in the house as a young man?


I don't think they had a gramophone in the house. But all three brothers were well aware of the classic 78 rpm players. You could talk to both Micho and Gussie about tunes from Morrison or McKenna and they would have had knowledge of them. I think there's a mention of where they heard them, some neighbour used to get records from Ennistymon, but I can't think of it right now. That stuff was around anyway.

Most of their initial music came from their mother and a neighbour, Patrick Flanagan. I have a recording here of Flanagan playing the Killavil Fancy on the concertina with Micho lilting along. One link to Coleman country.

Electricity wouldn't have arrived in Doolin before the late 40s, certainly not in Doonagore and given the location of the house you have to wonder if they would have had any radio reception even if they had electricity. But again, they could well have listened to the wireless elsewhere.

Micho played dances on the prom in Lahinch during the mid 40s and he was in bands in Ennistymon around that time as well, late 40s, early 50s (I'd have to look that up, there were photos on the Clare library site but the photo server is still down) so he did get out of Doolin a bit, if not very far. A friend, a concertina player I used to play with all the time, visited the Russell house when she was in her teens, mid 1940s, she had some interesting observations but perhaps that stuff strays a bit too far off topic. My mention of him was more in reference to the scarcity of flutes he observed and the flute style as discussed earlier.


Anyhow, Harry Bradshaw's biography of Coleman doesn't give any detail of what Coleman was up to in his days on the Keith circuit, but who knows what has come to light since.

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 23, 2019 6:34 pm 
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Mr.Gumby wrote:
Electricity wouldn't have arrived in Doolin before the late 40s, certainly not in Doonagore and given the location of the house you have to wonder if they would have had any radio reception even if they had electricity. But again, they could well have listened to the wireless elsewhere.


Even though the more portable and popular transistor radio wasn't invented until the late 40s, there were battery-powered tube radios available starting in the mid-1930s. I wouldn't go so far as to speculate whether or not anyone in rural Clare actually had or used them, but they were definitely available at the time. I've heard from talking to older Travellers that a few families had them in the wagons during that time period, and they'd used to listen to the radio as they did their tinwork. You could send away for the batteries, no electricity needed in the home.

Also, what became Radio Éireann started life out as Radio Athlone, with a 60kW transmitter located in that town by the mid 1930s. That should have been plenty powerful and close enough for a strong signal to reach Clare, even with a poor house location (behind a hill or something like that). Again, not saying that the Russells did or didn't have it, but it was possible even at the time without electricity.


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 24, 2019 2:35 am 
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Reception would depend a lot on the frequency. Mobile phone signals are in the gigahertz range and need line of sight, FM (87-108MHz or so) only slightly better, but the various AM bands at lower frequencies would fare better.


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 24, 2019 10:36 am 
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Tor wrote:
Reception would depend a lot on the frequency. Mobile phone signals are in the gigahertz range and need line of sight, FM (87-108MHz or so) only slightly better, but the various AM bands at lower frequencies would fare better.


I haven't been able to find a specific historical frequency for Radio Éireann, but it would have been an AM station most likely in today's AM range of 500-1500 or so kHz. They also operated a shortwave station staring in 1948.


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 24, 2019 11:33 am 
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You probably want to search for 2RN for the early period. Radio Eireann only came in by the late thirties I think.

I can't find a date for the Doolin area but electricity only came to Liscannor in 1956 and Lisdoonvarna in 1959. I suspect Doolin would have been reached within in that bracket.

My comment earlier was, by the way, made with the specific location of the Russell house in mind, and some experience with tv and radio signal reception dead spots in Clare.

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Last edited by Mr.Gumby on Thu Jan 24, 2019 11:45 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 24, 2019 11:42 am 
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I'm reading Tom Munelly's oral history of Junior Crehan and Crehan remembers records being important later in his youth. He says people would bring them from America and he/d tune to them and learn that way. He specifically mentions Coleman and the Sligo fiddlers

He mentions Garret Barry, and Willie Clancy, and some other pipers, but piping seems like a much less significant part of the musical landscape than it did in O'Neill's accounts. He also mentions deep sorrow at the effect the Dance Hall Act had. I wonder if that helped diminish piping relative to other instruments.


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 24, 2019 11:54 am 
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piping seems like a much less significant part of the musical landscape


There were virtually no pipers in Clare in the early part of the 20th century. WIllie Clancy knew of Garrett Barry but had never actually seen a piper until Johnny Doran landed at the White Strand for the Miltown races by the early 1940s. Martin Rochford only heard the pipes when he came across Rainey playing in Ennis and he himself remained pretty much the only piper in East Clare for the next forty years or so.

It was only during the 1940s a bit of an upsurge began, Willie got onto the pipes, Martin Talty, Martin Rochford, Peter O'Loughlin got the bug, the Dorans visited more regularly, Seán Reid started pushing things a bit by bringing all these men together, JC Talty, Michael Joe Sexton, Michael Falsey and others followed a bit later.

There were a few players that are a bit outside of this 'official' narrative, I have seen photos of a player in Milford house (also in Barry Taylor's book), just outside Miltown who never gets a mention. Hugh Curtin does get a mention but only just and one or two other names occasionally crop up. John Killourhy told me his elder brother Tadhg, who died quite young, played the pipes. To which he added that set was with Micho Russell for a bit who couldn't make sense of it and ran a mile, much to John's amusement.

Quote:
He specifically mentions Coleman and the Sligo fiddlers


Paddy Killoran should not be forgotten in this context. Killoran married Josie Hayes' sister after she went to NY (she sang with Killoran's orchestra). Josie was Junior's lifelong duet partner and Killoran visited more or less regularly between the late forties to the early sixties. There are some great stories around that. Anyway, Junior would have met and played with Killoran during those visits. There are recordings that were made at the time, not of them playing together though.

Killoran did play a set of tunes during his later visits, Old Dudeen and the Indian on the Rock, I am pretty convinced Junior lifted one of those to make The Otter's Holt. I never asked him about it though.

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 29, 2019 2:16 pm 
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PB+J wrote:

The pipes are gorgeous sounding, and it's hard to understand why they would fade relative to other instruments.




One word: Reeds.

If you can't get good reeds then you don't have pipes. In WWII, the reed cane was all used for camouflage netting, and it took generations to recover (with clarinets and saxophones obviously getting first choice).


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