City Lights - Liner Notes

   

 

1. Reels. McGovern’s, The House of Hamill, Jenny’s Wedding

McGovern’s Favourite was recorded on a 78rpm record by fiddle player Paddy Killoran in New York. It is also known as Maurice Casey’s Fancy, The Cottage in the Grove and The Conneberry Reel. I heard it from New York piper Jerry O’Sullivan. The House of Hamill is a composition from the fiddle player Ed Reavy. Jenny’s Wedding is a very popular reel and can be found in various collections including Ryan’s Mammoth Collection and O’Neill’s Music of Ireland.

Gavin–whistle
Donncha–guitar
Peter–keyboards, percussion, bass

2. Jigs: Baby Rory’s, Anthony Frawley’s, The Yellow Wattle

The first tune is one I learned from the playing of Manchester musician Michael McGoldrick. Anthony Frawley’s Jig features in Breandán Breathnach’s Ceol Rince na hÉireann 2, and is known from the fiddle playing of Paddy Kelly of Cree, County Clare. The Yellow Wattle has been recorded by many musicians including Micho Russell and Willie Clancy.

Gavin–uilleann pipes
Deirdre–fiddle
Donncha–guitar
Peter Keyboards,bouzouki

3. Reels: Paddy Taylor’s, When Are You Coming Over, The Pretty Girls of Mayo, The Donegal Reel

The first tune is associated with West Limerick flute player Paddy Taylor. The second tune is a composition from Scottish singer songwriter, composer, and sometimes fiddler Dougie MacLean and can be found on his 1984 album Fiddle. The Pretty Girls of Mayo is included in Breathnach’s Ceol Rince na hÉireann 1, and an untitled setting of this reel can be seen in Joyce’s Ancient Irish Music published in 1873. The Donegal reel is also known as the Antrim reel and úna Bean Uí Chuinneagáin

Gavin–whistle

4. Couldn’t Love You More

This is an instrumental version of one of my favourite songs from the great singer and guitarist John Martyn.

Gavin–low F whistle
Peter–keyboards, percussion, bass, guitar

5. Jigs: The Lark’s March, The Aherlow Jig, The Mist Covered Mountain

The first tune, also known as The Geese in the Bog, is one I learned from the playing of Noel Hill and Tony Linnane. The Aherlow Jig is also known as Connie O’Connell’s. The Mist Covered Mountain is a composition from West Clare fiddle player Junior Crehan.

Gavin–low F whistle
Eddie–banjo
Donncha–guitar

6. Reels: The Merry Days of Easter, The West Clare Railway, The Periwig

The Merry days of Easter is also known as the Aughrim slopes.

The West Clare Railway steam driven train first operated in1887, and stopped at various places in County Clare including Ennis, Kilrush, and Milltown Malbay; wouldn’t that be handy now for festival goers! The reel was composed by Junior Crehan.

The Periwig, or Piorbhuic, is an old Scottish piping tune.

Gavin–uilleann pipes
Deirdre–fiddle
Donncha–guitar

7. Jigs: Dever the Dancer, Patsy Geary’s, An Phis Fhliuch

Dever the Dancer can be found in O’Neill’s Music of Ireland. The Dance Music of Ireland, and Ceol Rince na hÉireann 2. Patsy Geary was a fiddle player who taught the late John Kelly. An Phis Fhliuch, also known as The Choice Wife, is a popular piping tune. It was recorded by Willie Clancy and released on the 1969 Topic album The Breeze from Erin: Irish Folk Music on Wind Instruments.

Gavin–uilleann pipes
Eddie–banjo

8. Reels: Bean an Tí ar Lár, The Thrush in the Morning

The first tune in this set is associated with the music of Donegal, and can be found in Ceol Rince na hÉireann 1. The Thrush in the Morning reel was written by Séamus Ennis’s father Jimmy Ennis.

Gavin–whistle
Donncha–guitar
Peter–keyboards

9. Instrumental Piece: Si Beag Sí Mór

I have heard it said that Si Beag Sí Mór was the first tune composed by the great harper Turlough Carolan.

Gavin–low F whistle
Donncha–guitar

10. Reels: Seán sa Cheo, The Roving Bachelor, Micho Russell's

Seán sa Cheo has been recorded by many musicians including Willie Clancy, John Doherty and The Chieftains. The Donegal fiddler Neil Boyle spoke about this tune on his 1977 Folktrax album The Moving Clouds, describing it as an Irish pipe tune and an ‘old, old Irish reel’ that he got from his mother. I learned The Roving Bachelor from accordion player Dermot Byrne and banjo player Brian McGrath. It can be found in several collections including Ryan’s Mammoth Collection, O’Neill’s Music of Ireland, and Tunes of the Munster Pipers, Vol. 1. I got the last tune from whistle player Micho Russell from Doolin, County Clare.

Gavin–whistle
Eddie–banjo mandolin
Donncha, guitar

11. Waltz: Ann Maguire's Silver Wedding

Ann Maguire's Silver Wedding a waltz composed by Scottish fiddle player John McCusker.

Gavin–low F whistle
Peter–keyboards, bouzouki, percussion

12. Reels: The Mystery Reel, The Nine Pint Coggie, The Heathery Cruach

I learned the first reel from the fiddle player Frankie Gavin. I picked up The Nine Pint Coggie from Dublin piper Seán Potts. The Heathery Cruach, also known as John Mosai McGinley’s, is another tune associated with Donegal. I learned it from the playing of Máirtín O’Connor and Cathal Hayden.

Gavin–uilleann pipes
Deirdre–fiddle
Donncha, guitar
Peter percussion

13. March: Mountains of Pomeroy

The Mountains of Pomeroy is a song that can also be played as a slow air. Clare concertina player Noel Hill is the source of this tune, and it features on his album Ag Teacht Aniar: The Irish Concertina. Here I play it as a march.

Gavin–uilleann pipes
Deirdre–fiddle
Donncha, guitar

14. Air: With a Love That’s True

This slow air was composed by guitar player Steve Cooney. I learned it from the playing of Vinnie Kilduff.

Gavin–whistle
Peter–keyboards

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All titles traditional arranged by Gavin Whelan except for:

The House of Hamill composed by Ed Reavy

Baby Rory’s composed my Micheal McGolderick

Whelan are you coming over composed by Dougie MacLean

The Mist covered mountain and the West Clare railway composed by Junior Crehan

The Thrush in the morning composed by Jim Ennis

With a love that’s true composed bySteve Cooney

Musicians:
Gavin Whelan: Eb, Bb, low F whistles, uilleann pipes
Donncha Moynihan: guitar
Deirdre Smyth: fiddle
Peter Eades: keyboards, bouzouki, guitar, bass, percussion
Eddie Whelan: banjo, mandolin

Credits:
Recorded and mixed by Peter Eades
Mastered by Billy Farrell
Photography by Colm Keating, Hauke Steinberg, Con Kelleher and Hugo Morris
Produced by Gavin Whelan and Peter Eades
Eb and Bb whistle made by John Sindt
Low F whistle made by Mike Grinter
Uilleann pipes made by Donnacha Keegan

Gavin Whelan (2001)

 

 


 

 

Copyright 2009 Gavin Whelan  |  Website by Cheryl Smith - OutFront Productions Inc.