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PostPosted: Thu Dec 17, 2020 2:18 pm 
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A new name for me is uilleann piper and accordion player Dave Page. A student of Leo Rowsome, Dave played in Rowsome's Quartet and later emigrated to America.:

A short Dave Page biography by John Touhy:

https://www.gregorypage.com/dave-page?f ... MyQW8TF8pk

Sound files of Dave Page talking and playing music:

https://www.gregorypage.com/dave-page-music


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 22, 2020 8:39 am 
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When I first started on the uilleann pipes, here in Southern California in the late 1970s, I had a difficult time due to not being able to find anyone in the area who played.

There were, however, two elderly gents, no longer playing the pipes, who were very good players back in Ireland in the 1930s before immigrating to the US, Dave Page and Leo Purcell.

I saw Dave on a couple of occasions playing box. Happily his pipes and much of his music were passed to a talented youngster John Touhy.

I got together with Leo Purcell, who lived in downtown Los Angeles and worked as a highly skilled leatherworker for a firm that made orthopaedic devices IIRC. Though as I recall he was no longer playing, and in fact may no longer have had a set of pipes (which I believe went to his son) he still made reeds. He gave me a finished reed and an unfinished reed to use as a pattern. He said he just used the cane that he found growing in Los Angeles. (Arundo Donax is all over the place here.)

Leo was one of a number of elderly men living in the Los Angeles area who had played warpipes back in Ireland in the 1920s, others were fiddler Eddie Hughes (who played in a local Irish folk group) and James Coyne (whose son Seamus is a top Highland piper).

There had been a warpipe band in Los Angeles in the post-WWII period led by a piper named Sean Mor Rice (1894-1975). A number of these men talked of participating in the wars of independence.

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 23, 2020 4:59 am 
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Quote:
I got together with Leo Purcell, who lived in downtown Los Angeles and worked as a highly skilled leatherworker for a firm that made orthopaedic devices IIRC. Though as I recall he was no longer playing, and in fact may no longer have had a set of pipes (which I believe went to his son). Richard


Leo's son, Al Purcell, was my first uilleann pipes tutor at my first Willie Week in 1996. Al was a very kind and thoughtful person. Al was also my teacher at the South Sligo Summer School in 1998.

Al Purcell in 1992: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OnWHvIw3Fm4

I believe Al had a Leo Rowsome set, and in the 1992 video his pipes look to be a Froment set?


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 23, 2020 3:34 pm 
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Steampacket wrote:
I believe Al had a Leo Rowsome set, and in the 1992 video his pipes look to be a Froment set?

If I recollect corrrectly, Sean Gavin now has the (a?) set that Al Purcell played.

Happy Holidays.

Steve

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 23, 2020 6:35 pm 
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Geez Steve, are you the doctor that at one time owned a set by William Rowsome that is pictured in imam, if so how are you doing, long time no hear?.
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 23, 2020 6:40 pm 
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The set that is pictured on the Willie Rowsome Wikipedia page.
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 23, 2020 6:42 pm 
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Did you donate that set back to the Rowsome family.
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 23, 2020 10:38 pm 
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Erm, Rory, are you perhaps conflating Steve Bliven with Dr. Lewis Blevins? Different cups of tay altogether. :D

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 24, 2020 6:45 am 
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Erm, yes.
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 24, 2020 8:12 am 
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Steve Bliven wrote:
If I recollect corrrectly, Sean Gavin now has the (a?) set that Al Purcell played.

Steve


Image

Although Al was playing different sets at different times. He had the B Froment but also this :

Image

Looks like the Rowsome chanter Seán Gavin has now but with a different body.

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 24, 2020 4:43 pm 
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If Steve Bliven secretly had a Willie Rowsome set of pipes that he'd not told me about (Steve and I play tunes in-person, or at least used to, pretty regularly), then that would be the biggest plot twist of 2020.
And there's been a LOT of plot twists in 2020.


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 24, 2020 9:21 pm 
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As a strictly tangential comment, the only ´Willie Rowsome´ set I´ve seen was marked ´Willie Rousome´, in keeping with the family´s Heugeonot heritage. It was a bit shorter than a modern concert pitch set and it was speculated to be pitched to A=435Khz. Never heard it played as the reed was fubar. A fellow piper, a Warpiper, bought it in an odd transaction from a very sketchy young man who claimed to have gotten it out of his recently deceased grandfather´s attic in Vancouver, B.C.
He got the set, along with an old Henderson stand for considerably under $1,000 USD. We always assumed them to be well above room temperature. . . :o After enquiries were made, tho´, no complaints of missing pipes were registered.

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 25, 2020 4:10 am 
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Pat D'Arcy on his site (uilleann obsession) has two articles about Dave Page by John Touhey and an interview with Page by Astra Thor. There are also photos of Page and his Kennedy set:

http://www.uilleannobsession.com/article_dave_page

Touhey writes: "Dave was born in Dolphins Barn, in Dublin on 17 April 1906. He got his first set of pipes from Leo Rowsome for the princely sum of £25. These he later sold in order to buy a piano accordeon and the pipes are now in the possession of Dick Grant of Bray."

Anything known about Dick Grant of Bray and the Page Rowsome set?


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 25, 2020 5:10 am 
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I would assume that's the same Dick Grant who has been in Clare for donkey's years, Lahinch mostly. He cooperated with Eugene Lambe on the Micho Russell and North Clare videos during the eighties. Ran ferries to the Aran islands at some point and other businesses, put out large collection of songs too at one time IIRC.

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 25, 2020 10:24 am 
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Yes Peter, that would be him. I wonder if he still plays the L. Rowsome set? Merry Christmas by the way to you and the family!


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