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It sounds like the song you’re working on is a belter. Funny how it goes. Some of them become a huge part of your life, don’t they. Musgrave is like that for me. I sing it most days. It’s fab to perform too, so dramatic, I’ve seen people looking thunderstruck by it.
Do you write things by the lines of words to give you an idea of how the melody works? I’ve started using arrows to tell me if a melody goes straight through, or up or if it’s different.
I have some songs that never make it to the work room. They’re the ones that bite me hardest. I’ve managed to work through some that I thought would be too much for me. I have to repeat and repeat until they stop burning me. It can take a long time till I build up some immunity. Worth it though.
I was very surprised that no one has talked about Green Grows the Laurel before. That one is certainly a biter. Maybe the bitey ones are harder to talk about in general conversation?
more like a scourge than a belter
I hope you get off to a good start Christy. I have a start of the 2021 listening to your ‘The Early Years’ through the end of 2020. Looking forward to the gig on the 16th (my time on morning of the 17th). Be safe everyone guestbook regulars.
greetings to the far east..always good to hear from you Yas
Hey Christy, Happy New Year to you and the family, none of us will mind seeing the back of the last one ! I’m keeping the head down here in NJ and hopeful for the emergence out of the mist….
I’m really looking forward to the next gig on the 16th and the next one after that I hear will be live on the biggest stage in Gortahork, be well Christy and thanks as always.
it looks like the next NCH stream will be postponed due to lockdown..more news to follow
I am trying to get hold of your DVD Live at Barrowlands, mine has packed up. Any ideas where I can get it, I have googled it.
Looking forward to January 16th.
Thanks for helping us get through these difficult times.
its called..”Come all you Dreamers” its kickin about, its starting to get expensive but sometimes second hand copies are offered for sale at a reasonable price
Excuse some off topic news,but I recall us riffing on times you went to City matches at Maine Road -so,very sad to post that Colin Bell died today. My all time favourite player – pure class and memories of a fabulous player to be treasured.
I have a picture of him in my head…he seemed to glide around the park
That’s my brain fried again. Maire is a wonderful teacher. Her attention to detail. She is continually adjusting, correcting and praising. I feel like I fit about 6 hours of life into 1 hour.
Please, I want to think about what you said before I reply. I hope that is ok.
This lockdown caper has some positives…
Following Rory’s championing of John Reilly here – and being captivated by your versions, I’ve finally got round to spending some quality time (virtually) around Boyle…thanks to Hilary/Adam for a bonus film…
Wonderful music and a great review of you/Grehans in Boyle, via boylesingers.blogspot.com – now, time for a cuppa and a return to ‘Laurel’…thanks for the background on that gem.
Also, a good wikipedia on ‘Jacko’ – sad to read that he was only in his 40s when he died.
The Grehan Sisters made beautiful, wild and uplifting music….Pat Dowling brought them to Prosperous in the early 60s….our gang were enthralled and we began trekking to Boyle to hear them …the Grehans decided to take to the road and moved to Manchester where they began to make inroads into the NE Folk circuit…They were based in Hyde, Chesire and gave me great support when I made the move from London to Suffragette City in late 1966….I recall travelling with them to a great Folk Club in Congleton….The three of them, their manager Mike, myself and all instruments in a tiny Austin mini-van…..
Hi All. Mention of the Bonny Green Tree reminds me of the song What Put the Blood, it is so evocative, emotional and lonesome. What a wonderful rendition was captured here by Adam in Killashee, I think, https://youtu.be/AlUDquls4Js beir bua agus beannacht. H
Hilary..thanks for posting this..I’d not seen or heard it before..thanks too to Adam of Wicklow for recording and sharing….since recording this old John Reilly Song in 1975 it has seldom featured at my gigs….a regular at soundchecks and rehearsals it was a lovely surprise to hear this Killashee, Co Kildare rendition…I love this song…It came to me from the late Tom Munnelly who was our foremost gatherer of songs….John Reilly’s magnificent repertoire (and singing) would not have survived without the foresight and diligence of Tom Munnelly..thanks to both Adam and yourself for capturing and sharing this version
Intriguing about a new song being a ‘hard listen’, Christy
very keen to hear it. Some of the best are like that…where there are layers that you find and then pass on the listeners to make of it what they will.
I wonder if ‘Green grows the laurel’ comes into the category of being awhile on the work bench before you were happy with the version? It’s a song I return to regularly – you capture the ‘mood’ of it brilliantly…
Enjoy the day.I’m revelling in an ace Joni bootleg from Feb,1972 at Carnegie Hall – recorded a few weeks before I saw her here – the one and only time,perhaps. D
Happy to see John Reilly’s song get a (first) mention….such a beautiful, emotional, sad, evocative song from John’s repertoire…its not been referenced, requested or broadcast once since I recorded it…
I heard it on John’s album 40 years ago (“Bonny Green Tree” on Topic Records) ..I never considered singing it until I heard Helen Grehan’s version at a John Reilly tribute Concert in Town Hall, Boyle around 10 years ago.Her version stilled the night and carried me away….that’s when I began to engage with it.. I added a verse to help the narrative ( no gasps or shrieks from mudcat to date !)…
Every song from John’s repertoire is imbued with the spirit of his singing ..
Yes Dave, “Green Grows The Laurel” was a long time on the work bench….mind you, not nearly as long as “Lord Baker” which went for years before I got it down on Planxty’s 6th album…
gotta go now…the coffee is brewed
What a buzz when a floor spot led to a gig… sounds like a great time in Rochdale at the start of your adventures.
Have fun Rebecca – please pass on my best to Maire – also,might be interesting info on the English Folk Expo site re advice for performers.
Let’s hope we’re soon nearer to ‘real’ gigs.
I woke up feeling excited this morning. I’ve got my second lesson with Maire at 1.30 today.
Something happened on Saturday. My brain started thinking in patterns instead of notes. The hornpipe is starting to dance. I’m not confident enough to post a recording yet, but I’m thinking I might get there with it.
Thats the way it sometimes works….I’ve been struggling with a new song….its a very powerful lyric with many variants of melody from verse to verse…5 verses with 2 refrains….I dont read or write music so its proving to be quite a task…but I sure do have lots of time to absorb the flow….its an extremely challenging song and will be a hard listen….
Hope your lesson with Maire goes well….give it time….let it happen
I’m glad you liked the ‘Lad’ doc – great Sligo tunes too.
It’s a long way from Sligo to here… not too far to Rochdale, although it feels to be quite a trek in lockdown again. But,fair play to the organisers of the town’s folk festival,planning ahead for Summer… http://www.rochdalefolkfestival.co.uk A nice website too – with a link to home recordings by artists via English Folk Expo.So, something for everybody as we look to music keeping our spirits high…
Keep well all
I once lived in Rochdale…my buddy ran a fruit &veg shop….twice a week I’d drive his big old Bedford van into Manchester Market and load up with stock for shop…at night we’d both head out to various Folk Clubs in the region…I’d be seeking floor spots,he’d be trying to get me gigs….sometime in 1967 we struck camp and crossed over into Yorkshire where we settled into Causeway Foot….the gigs began to trickle in…
Easing into the new year,I hope.The January Man arrived with a pile of snow on his shoulders…
An excellent doc now on youtube, following a launch at New Year – ‘the Sligo Tunesmith’ – fiddler, James ‘lad’ O’Beirne and his USA life/times + modern versions of his tunes. A great production,maybe one for later if you’re planning an Atkin day – sounds like the workroom will be lively.Looking forward to hearing the results…
All the best to you,family and chatters here.
thanks for the Lad O’Beirne doc…I love the Sligo Music
Wishing you a Happy, Healthy and Peaceful New Year, love from JackieH and family.
Same to You and Yours
Bliain úr faoi shean duit a Christy! Rory and Rebecca’s comments brought me back to Planxty’s reunion in the Waterfont 16 years ago this month. The moment Raggle Taggle Gypsy with its classic seque into Tabhair dom do laimh still makes my heart sing. Go well.
the audience response always warmed our hearts as we riffed along
These days when I listen to Raggle Taggle Gypsy I also hear Tabhair dom do lámh. Rhythm is a magical thing.
it was a magic moment when song and tune were joined together back in 1970….we should have celebrated the Golden Anniversary last year but ,alas, our beloved Piper is no longer among us
Good morning Christy, i awoke dreadfully early, a last holiday assault on Ruberslaw’s snowy ,icy peak ahead and she will be magnificent as the sun rises. However i could not sleep so i had a notion to hunt out Raggle Taggle Gypsy, naturally i turned first for John Reilly’s song, the ultimate version , the one truly full of life and emotion, what a gem.
However i find great enjoyment and fulfilment from your versions in the Box Set and particularly on Traveller. The first a raw, live version where the band are enjoying the music , the latter a bare and searingly original.
Of course you have other recorded versions as do Planxty and i listened to all i could find.
Then i went on into the mists of the world of music, and i found that Clyde Football Club had recorded it as their anthem with some changed words, that a now (fellow to Dave) Spanish Mancunian Nelson Poblete has a version of some merit and a French band named after an eleventh century Troubadour called Macabru have tried and done a decent job. Am not sure about the Chieftains collaboration with an American rock band, but liked the music behind a version by Carlos Nunez a flute player, and the music only version by the lovely guitar of Jon Woods was really authentic.
The Waxies (as the name might suggest) raced harem scarem through it, , but what i think is an Irish American Mike O’Laughlin tried hard to recreate an atmosphere like my favourite has.
Of course Brendan Grace had a shot, The Balkonians made a very good instrumental version (i assume created with Balkan feeling) and Grianne and Brendan had a stab at it peacefully and pleasantly.
However despite all the ones i listened to ,your two that i mention are in my top three but the gold standard medal goes to a wee man from in and around Roscommon.
I’m recalling the Fleadh Ceoil in Boyle, County Roscommon circa 1964…us Kildare lads were enthralled by the session in Mrs Bridie Grehan’s pub at the top of The Square… The Three Grehan Sisters Marie*,Francie and Helen had just finished off a great session playing behind the counter as Mrs Grehan poured pints of plain porter for the thirsty fans…she was very proud of her daughters….I recall “leanin o’er the half door” “tippin it up to nancy” ”Tipperary so far away” “Patsy McCann”….there was a lull after the Sisters finished and Mrs Grehan called out…”quiet now all of you. John Reilly is going to sing a song”..thats when we heard John for the first time ….
*Marie Was laid to rest last month in her native home
and the june man wondered if the summer sun would come now that funghi has gone
A very happy new year to you Christy and to all here. Stuck into The Early Years here even at this late hour, eyein up the last of the Christmas puddin… New projects in the pipeline, hopefully new gigs and avenues etc…always lookin…I know we all want to see you back in front of the lamps again as soon as is possible, until then, we can look back…mention of Dickons photos sent me looking back and brought back memories that make me smile…what a great trip you have taken us on…a lifetime of memories, really, and I look forward to more. Have a brilliant January, and hope will see ya soon…much love .Lar x
I hear that the Continental Céilí is very big in Budapest
My name is Grace Henry I am 11 years old and I live in County Sligo. And my uncle John’s 60th birthday (10th of January) is coming up. It is a very special celebration he is a big fan of yours he loves an old party but this year will be different in these strange times. Our family is making a video with lots of memories and lots of people he loves it would be much appreciated if we could get a little birthday message from you! He is a huge fan would love a little message from you. He has been to nearly all your concerts he plays guitar himself in a local band he is very good anyway thanks for your time .
Much appreciated Grace.
He told me this story he went to see you in kennedys of doocaslte on the mayo/sligo border in 1979 on a August on a Bank Holiday weekend he got there on a Honda 50 cc he believes this is the day that you stood in for johnny mcevoy from the words of (if I get an on encore) this is my dads email also if you decide to send on a message contact this no 0876987383 on whatapps
job done Grace
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