Tin whistle with Marian Egan (Flannery) in Hulme. Touring New Zealand and Australia. First banjos and joining Curragh. Toss the Feathers and choosing work over the road. The social side of learning. Joe and Jack Cooley and the lost tapes from America. The Love of Lucia, Kitty’s Twelve Roses and The Gort Mile.
Tagged with “guitar” (6)
Irish music podcast interview with Theresa O’Grady on banjo, tenor guitar and mandolin. — The Blarney Pilgrims Podcast Traditional Irish Music Podcast
Sunday morning sessions at The Coach and Horses, Finsbury Park; summer road trips to Ireland and back, via relatives’ houses, fleadhs, sessions and the Holyhead ferry; learning to play in Anne Caulfield’s house in Luton; competing and adjudicating; becoming a teacher of music and recording your first album. All that AND Barings Bank. Nick Leeson how are ye!
You can probably tell from the tape, this was a LOT of fun. Thanks Theresa.
The consolations of melody, Johnny Connolly’s melodeon, the invention of white-out and The Monkees.
In which John explains why there are only 643 of the greatest guitar ever made, and Kirk Hammett of Metallica pays $2 million for a Fleetwood Mac hand-me-down.
For this sixth episode of Irish Music Stories (a shorter summer special!), I talked to some of trad music’s most inspired accompanists. It was great to hear about the inner game of backing from Matt Heaton, Neil Pearlman, Keith Murphy, and John Doyle.
Now, singers and accordion players can also certainly ride a rhythmic wave in a session, or sculpt a song with color, texture, and deep care for the storyline. But there’s a particular experience that chordal players have with Irish music. I wanted to understand that feeling a bit more.
John Doyle talks about the meditative quality of backing:
“When you play in a good session, when it’s super rhythmic, you get into this flow state, especially when you’re rhythmic. It’s a very Zen-like, momentary space.. I think it’s a place where very few people get to in life. And then it’s broken when the tune ends… and of course, there’s an enjoyment, the love of music.”
Pianist Neil Pearlman (who also hosts a great podcast called TradCafe) shared his thoughts on how a broader perspective shapes players and playing: “Traditional music is cultural music… knowing other people who play, dance, or speak with an Irish accent all go into some subtle sense of feel in the music.”
And guitarist Matt Heaton says, “There are such cool things you can do with harmony. You can add tension, you can build suspense, you can make something sound bright and happy.. you can shine a light on certain aspects of the melody, sort of illuminate it.”
I hope you’ll join me as I talk with Matt, Neil, Keith and John about how they think about backing traditional music.
Whether you already play guitar, sing ballads, or dance steps.. or if you don’t know anything about Irish culture… these conversations concern deep listening, community, and flow state.
This still stands as one of the finest soundtracks of all time; the aural equivalent of Wim Winders in the American west.