Up The West

by Randal Bays

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    Notes on the tunes...


    1 Gilbert Riley's / The Rakes of Clonmel – Jigs
. The first tune is one I wrote for my uncle Gilbert Riley RIP, who brought music into our house. East Clare fiddler Paddy Canny was my source for this version of The Rakes of Clonmel.


    2 Richie Dwyer's / Eleanor Kane / Poor Man's Fortune – Reels. 
Three great modern tunes composed by Richie Dwyer, Ed Reavey, and Paddy O'Brien who lives in Minnesota.


    3 Mr. Walker's / The Faithful Friend – Hornpipes. 
Mr. Walker's is from Pat Sky's facsimile edition of William O'Farrell's “Irish Music for the Union Pipes”, first published in 1804. The Faithful Friend is from fiddler John Kelly, Sr.


    4 The Girl That Broke My Heart / Murphy's Greyhound / Youghal Quay – Reels
. This track was recorded live with Brendan Dolan on piano in 2002. The first tune is very widely known. East Clare fiddler PJ Hayes gave me this setting of the Greyhound and was insistent about the title, so I keep it despite the fact that most everyone calls it O'Neill's Greyhound. Youghal Quay is from another brilliant East Clare fiddler, Vincent Griffin. 


    5 Planxty Drew / Unnamed Tune – O'Carolan
. Two of my favorite compositions of the blind 17th century harper Turlough O'Carolan. The first tune was for one of Carolan's patrons, Francis Drew, and the second is attributed to Carolan by Donal O'Sullivan. I learned Planxty Drew from the late Johnny Cunningham.


    6 Paddy Fahey Compositions – Reels
. East Galway fiddler Paddy Fahey passed on last year at the age of 102, leaving us the great gift of his many creative works. I was lucky to get to know Paddy in his last years and played for him several times at his home in Kilconnell, Co. Galway
    7 The Hairy Cat's Ear / The Maid on the Green – Jigs. 
Hairy Cat's Ear is a nasty, invasive weed, kind of like a dandelion's lowlife cousin. Susan used to do research on it and I composed this tune for her on the day she became Doctor Waters. The Maid on the Green is a very well-known jig that's found in many traditions.


    8 The Silver Anniversary / New Orleans Wedding – Waltzes
. We were about to go on stage at a festival some years ago and we wanted a tune for a friend's silver anniversary... Daithí Sproule said, “We'll play the Silver Spire reel as a waltz”, and it worked out beautifully. My creative wife Susan Waters composed the New Orleans Wedding for her brother's nuptials in that town, always one of my favorite places. Late at night the Treme brass band marched in and played for us... such a night!


    9 Willie Owen / The Maids of Mitchellstown / The House of Hamill - Reels. 
Fiddler James Kelly composed the first tune for my sons Willie and Owen Bays. The Maids of Mitchellstown is a famous tune, always one of my favorites, and the House of Hamill was composed by Co. Cavan fiddler Ed Reavey.


    10 Achonry Lasses / The College Groves – Reels
. A couple of classic reels for the dancers. My version of The College Groves owes a lot to the playing of the great West Clare fiddler Bobby Casey.


    11 The Silver City / Jacky Tar – Hornpipes
. The first tune I composed for fiddler Eileen Sullivan who lived at the time in Silver City, New Mexico. The second is one of many variants of this well-known hornpipe.


    12 Nyel the Cannoneer / The Piper's Chair / Old Man Dillon – Jigs
. My friend Nyel Stevenson lives on the edge of the world down on the coast of Washington state. He has a cannon that he fires off on special occasions. The Piper's Chair, from what I've heard, comes from Micho Russell and refers to a certain stone near the cliffs of Moher. My setting of Old Man Dillon comes from East Clare.
    13 The Leac Rua / Eileen Curran / Molly Bawn – Reels
. I heard the first of these reels nearly thirty years ago on a visit to East Clare and wrote it down in my little notebook with the words "Joe Bane tune". I don't know who I heard playing it and I never had a name for it until recently. With help from the Irish Traditional Music Archive I found a recording of it by whistle player Joe Bane. Eileen Curran is a very well-known reel, and this version of Molly Bawn comes from yet another great, creative East Clare fiddler, Paddy Canny.


    14 Up The West / Sean Reid's - Reels. 
I woke up with this first tune in my head one morning... I think it's original but ya never know.


    15 The Mother's Day / The Piper's Apron / Kitty Come Down to Limerick – Slip Jigs
. The Mothers Day is my own composition, again for my wife Susan. The Piper's Apron was composed by the excellent piper Tommy Keane, and the last tune a classic slip jig.
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about

Irish fiddle tunes vintage and new, played by fiddler Randal Bays, guitar accompaniment by Frank Kilkelly, with guests Susan Waters, fiddle; Brendan Dolan, piano; T.P. MacPhellimey, piano

1 Gilbert Riley's / The Rakes of Clonmel Jigs 3:46
2 Richard Dwyer's Reel / Eleanor Kane / Poor Man's Fortune 4:17
3 Mr. Walker's Hornpipe / The Faithful Friend Hornpipes 3:58
4 The Girl That Broke My Heart/Murphy's Greyhound/Youghal Quay 3:07
5 Planxty Drew / Unnamed Tune O'Carolan 3:26
6 Paddy Fahey Two Reels Reels 2:56
7 The Hairy Cat's Ear / Maid on the Green Jigs 3:21
8 Silver Spire Waltz / New Orleans Wedding Waltzes 5:34
9 Willie Owen / Maids of Mitchellstown / House of Hamill 4:22
10 Achonry Lasses / The College Groves Reels 3:00
11 The Silver City / Jacky Tar Hornpipes 4:11
12 Nyel the Cannoneer / Piper's Chair / Old Man Dillon Jigs 3:57
13 The Leac Rua / Eileen Curran / Molly Bawn Reels 3:38
14 Up The West / Sean Reid's Reels 2:50
15 Mother's Day / Piper's Apron / Kitty Come Down to Limerick 3:50

credits

released February 7, 2020

Recorded at Ballybranagan Studio, Kinvara, Co. Galway, November 2019
Mixing by Paul Mulligan, AudioMonkey, Kinvara, Co. Galway
Mastering by Tom Stiles at Jack Straw Productions, Seattle

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