Sean McGuire - Piper as well?

A forum about Uilleann (Irish) pipes and the surly people who play them.
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L42B
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Sean McGuire - Piper as well?

Post by L42B »

Hi

I remember reading an An Piobari article, and seeing Sean McGuire with a set of pipes. Was he a piper as well as fiddle? If this is the case does anybody have any old recordings of him playing the pipes. Of course there are plenty of recordings on fiddle; and they alone are worth purchasing a CD of. Even if you don't play fiddle or find violin's annoying (the same could be said about the pipes :lol:), his rendition of the Mason's Apron is something to behold.

If you have tape cassets of Sean McGuire playing Uilleann Pipes, can you please gain permission, and place them under the "Tune post." I'd be interested to hear if his violin playing has influenced his piping. Especially if the double and treble stopping associated with the fiddle is somehow transferred to the regulators.

Cheers L42B :)
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Post by The Sporting Pitchfork »

I saw him play a bit on a practice set in one of his videos. As Miles Davis once said of Bill Evans, "That muthaf**ka can play his ass off."

No regulators, but he had a dude playing electric accordion backing him up.
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Post by Chris Bayley »

The first Taylor chanters I saw were owned by Sean - one with the long block mounted keys and the other with folded keys.

I have a recording of him playing fiddle with the McPeakes on Pipes
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Post by Kevin L. Rietmann »

I have a tape from 1969 with Sean playing pipes and fiddle; the tape also has the McPeakes, Leo Rowsome, and others. Sean was a lot more trad and straightforward on the pipes, none of the Paganini stuff there.

Email me L42B, and I'll send you an MP3 of Sean piping. BTW I've put up three Maguire 78s up at the Internet Archive, fiddling, rather more trad than later as well.
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Post by sean an piobaire »

I met Sean McGuire, and his wife Josie Keegan, several times in Ireland,
and Northumberland, circa 1975. I have to say that Josie was a good fiddler, and she could more than "keep up" with her famous husband.
She was also his accompanist on the Piano, vamping AND playing the melody in unison with Sean, as the spirit moved her.
Sean was playing on a brand new Kennedy set, and was making his own
Kennedy style "oblong" reeds for it. When I opined that "There's too much meat on this chanter reed", Sean replied "And there's too much meat on you, Squire !" (and this was when I was a thin 25 year old and not like I am today). Well I have to laugh every time I think of Sean, as he was a dynamic personality, and that IS putting it mildly ! I heard him play his set and he apologized for not being in practice, as he he played some set of Pipes in the 1940s, and was just starting over with his A=440 Kennedy set. He knew "Rakes of Chunes" of course, and he played a number of fiddle tunes that he had adapted to the more limited range of the Pipes.
At the time, both Sean, and Accordion Joe Burke, were traveling around and playing together. One memorable night, after they had performed at the Guild Hall in Newcastle on Tyne, there was a great session at an Irish families' household in Gosforth. During a Tea break, "Accordion Joe" showed me his Flute collection, which he was building up at the time.
A week later I was visiting (NSP maker) Colin Ross, at his home in Whitley Bay, and Colin was putting a practice set together for Joe with a Coyne style "S" curved chanter top. Colin was loading the brass tube with lead in order to bend it to the right curvature, then melting the lead out again, after the bends were made. Colin was proud of making these Pipes for Joe ,and had given him lots of encouragement, as Colin did for me, and numerous other Pipers coming to him for help.
This demand for Irish Pipes was part of the incredible 1970s revival of Irish Music, and the Pipes in particular. This trend among famous Irish musicians who played other instruments, to pick up the Pipes, was remarkable to me personally, and most people would say that these "Musickers"didn't need to "Double" on the Irish Pipes, that they were "Giants" on much more popular instruments.
Irish Nationalism could be one reason for it, but the need for the SOUND of the Pipes and its' unique possibilities for MUSICAL EXPRESSION, is the perhaps THE major reason that I'm writing on this Forum, 32 years later.
Sean Folsom
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Post by Kevin L. Rietmann »

Good meaty story, Squire!

Sean had a set by McFadden, you see him with that in the picture of him shaking hands with Andy Conroy, Sean had just arrived in NYC, early 50s.

Checking my tape with Sean M playing the pipes, they do seem a bit sharp. Incidentally, this tape was made by CE Young, whose bio I can never keep straight - Newcastle man who liked Irish music? Belfast man who played smallpipes? Julia Say once wrote me a bit of a bio of him, I seem to remember he was a bit blind too - anyway he made this reel-to-reel for Ivan Donaldson, and Ivan's son Greg dubbed it for me. Very nice tape. Sean certainly doesn't sound of practice on the pipes, this was in 1969. I have all his LPs, also some stuff of him playing the fiddle in pubs in England in '66 and '67 that are positively fearsome, too. Dunno if it's Josephine or Sean's brother on the piano. Amazing fingers and bow that man had.
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Post by L42B »

Hi Kevin

Check your emails.

Cheers L42B :)
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Post by Hans-Joerg »

Kevin L. Rietmann wrote:
Sean had a set by McFadden, you see him with that in the picture of him shaking hands with Andy Conroy, Sean had just arrived in NYC, early 50s.



[img][img]http://img210.imageshack.us/img210/9315/andyconroyseanmcguiresj0.th.jpg[/img][/img]
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Post by sean an piobaire »

There's some further intelligence about "Accordion" Joe Burke.
His father Mick Burke played the Pipes, and his mother Annie
played the Accordion.
Joe has his own site on the net at

www.joeburkemusic.com

There's a section of Black and White Photos
with some "pics" of Pipers that I haven't seen
before. Perhaps some "techno" can upload them
to this site ?
Sean Folsom
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Post by Kevin L. Rietmann »

I'm a techno, I guess.

Ya mean this one?

Image

The Ballinakill Traditional Dance Players with Leo Rowsome and Neilus Cronnin (pipers), about 1929


Here's a 78 of Neilius Cronin: The Banks of the Suir and The Hunt. I always thought this was simply Leo Rowsome recording under a pseudonym - who else could play like that!

Then there's this one:

Image

A 1918 reception for Eamonn DeValera during his historic election campaign. This Kilnadeema Band played during his visit to Loughrea and featured Joe's father, Mick, and uncle, Larry.


I like this one of McGuire taking a nap:

Image

Joe had/has a flute collection, eh? I notice he has some black wood job here but on his solo flute album he plays a boxwood Rudall Rose.
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Post by Kevin L. Rietmann »

Hey, found another photo of Neilus Cronin, with fiddler Gus O Mahony - wonder if he was related to James O'Mahony, who made records with Liam Walsh.

Image

From University College Cork's Folklore and Ethnology Photograph Archive. They have a Sound Recordings section but it isn't downloadable and seems mostly concerned with storytelling and the like.
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Post by sean an piobaire »

Thanks, Very Much, Kevin !
That one photo where Mr. McGuire is taking his repose, is the
way all of 3 of the "band" looked, when I saw them in 1975, except Joe
didn't have a beard ! So this photo must have been taken in 1976.
5 years later, Joe came to my house in Oakland, California,
in the company of Kathy (Cait) Reid ( the very fine American Fiddler),
and so I cooked everybody a good Curry dinner, and then we had a
wonderful session, which lead to Sharon Devlin Folsom (my "wiffus")
playing the Guitar and Harp for Joe at the "Plough and Stars" Pub
in San Francisco, on New Years Eve, 1980. Joe played the flute with Sharon, on her "Trinity College" style Harp (A.K.A.the "Brian Boru" Harp).
Joe was just then, starting his "morph" into Karl Marx, which was nearly complete in 1985. (I NEVER said Joe looked like Karl Marx, myself,
this is what everybody else was saying, as Joe's hair had got him well away from that "clean-cut" look he had, many years before).
This particular time, in '85, Joe was playing at "The Poet and Patriot" bar
in Santa Cruz, California, and I had to come up and say,
"Hello, Joe !" "You're looking more like a "Bard of Old Erin",
every time I see you !"
To this, Joe replied, "And I feel like one, too !"
Well, Joe IS the "Bard of the Accordion", and I wonder what he would have done, if he had really got going on the Pipes ?
Joe has THE GIFT, and more music in his little finger, than most of the musicians I've met up with, along time since !
Sean Folsom
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