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MP3 MacDara Raghallaigh - Ego Trip

Solo traditional Irish fiddle music recorded in front of a live audience over two nights in Ireland

13 MP3 Songs in this album (62:10) !
Related styles: Folk: Irish Traditional, World: Celtic, Solo Instrumental

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"This first anticipated and overdue recording of MacDara comes from two nights of playing before a live audience on 14th and 15th of January, 2011 in Newtown, Co Kildare, not far from his Meath home. It is just a sample of the enormous repertoire of tunes he possesses, and it will bring his music to a wider audience. The unaccompanied sound of the fiddle makes for clear listening and it will be of particular interest not just to followers of Irish music but to students of the fiddle everywhere. I was going to list my favourite tracks but decided I’d leave it to you – there’s a richness and inspiration in all of them. Bain sult as!" Antóin MacGabhan

On a frosty night, January 19th 2001 to be precise, I played as part of a recital along with renowned flautist Catherine McEvoy in a small parish hall in a village by the name of Newtown in north Kildare. This was one of a number of recitals in the same venue. These were organized by members of Clan Uí Chatháin from Kilcock, fiddle player Caomhín Ó Raghallaigh (no relation, not even a tiny bit) and members of the Boylan family from Celbridge. This planted the seed for a live CD.

Though the idea never wilted the years passed by. Children appeared, hair disappeared and still no sign of a CD, or even the smell of one. I think I was waiting for maturity to reach its peak. Then, having realised I was never going to mature (my wife Lara has repeatedly told me this,) I sent a fella by the name of Paul Quin a text. Paul, a fine flautist and old acquaintance, has a major role to play with Noiz Entertainment. I remembered that Paul had previously mentioned an interest in recording my fiddle playing. Due to his exquisite taste in music I asked him in the text was he fit to do a live recording or was he just useless! After his initial surprise at this totally out of the blue enquiry, he realized the massive fame and fortune this opportunity would bring him. For the next two months he rang me three or four times a day until the dates were set. He then mentioned that he needed someone with him who actually knew what he was doing and so Shay Leon joined the recording crew. The audience were invited, threatened and bribed with lashings of tea, mulled wine and homemade baking of the highest order. Recordings took place on the 14th and 15th of January, 2011. This was only four days short of ten years since the original recital in the same venue!

So finally here it is. One fiddle player, two fiddles (I like living on the edge), two audiences of thousands of possibly the most knowledgeable people in traditional music, two techno heads and a few microphones scattered haphazardly around the hall. There isn’t anything radical or shiny and new here. It’s not rocket science. It’s not even fiddle science! It’s just a bunch of tunes that I like to play. All the mistakes, scratches, squeaks, bum notes, bad variations, weird variations, downright silly variations and even a few tunes are all left in for your pleasure alone. To all those tunes I consider great friends that I left on the editing floor, my sincere apologies. If there’s a next time ye’ll be there!

So, if you buy this CD, receive it as a gift (of distinction of course) or win it as last prize in a raffle, well then fáilte romhat. You’re very welcome to my Ego Trip. I suppose it’s about time!

Track Notes -

1. Reels - The Milky Way, The Ring Around the Moon, Peg McGrath''s and The Mill of Kylemore

Chum beirt fliúiteadóir as Cúige Chonnacht, Vincent Broderick agus Josie Mc Dermot, na ríleanna seo.

Antóin MacGabhan (from here on referred to by first name only) has been largely responsible for bringing the music of Vincent Broderick to the masses. The first two tunes here are Vincent’s compositions. The second pair are Josie McDermott tunes I learned from the playing of my late brother Félim. His brother in law, well know piper (and owner of the best quiff in traditional music) Ivan Goff, got these from the Comhaltas magazine “Treoir” many moons ago. Paddy Ryan was responsible for the transcription. Confusing I know! Any deviations from the original score are purely my fault.

2. Jigs - The Haunted House, Whistler at the Wake, The Old Flail.

Trí phort anseo, arís, ó Vincent Broderick. Is dóigh gurb iad seo na chéad cinn leis a d’fhoghlaim mé.

Three more Vincent Broderick tunes here. They would probably be the first of his compositions I learned.

3. Hornpipes - The Home Ruler and Mulhaire’s

Is é an Home Ruler ceann de na cornphíopaí is aitheana sa gceol traidisiúnta. Casaim Mulhares i gcuimhne ar mo dheartháir Félim.

The Home Ruler would be one of the best known hornpipes in traditional music. I don’t know where I got Mulhaire’s but it stayed in my head after my brothers Mícheál and Félim played it at a Craobh Naithí concert shortly before Félim passed away.

4. Reels - Jenny''s Welcome to Charlie and The College Groves

Chuala mé Jenny''s Welcome to Charlie casta go minic sa mbaile agus mé i mo bhuachaill óg. D''fhoghlaim mé The College Groves ó Antóin blianta fada ó shin.

Jenny’s Welcome to Charlie has been recorded by too many fiddle players of note to start listing here. Fair play to Jenny says I. Charlie must have been some boy to deserve a welcome worthy of this mighty tune. The College Groves I battered regularly in fleadh competitions but fortunately it survived the repeated abuse and remains a great friend.

5. Jigs - The Humours of BallyLoughlin and Páidín Ó Raifeartaigh

Dhá phort iad seo atá mé ag casadh le blianta.

Like many of the tunes on this disc my first hearing of “Ballyloughlin” would have been from Félim playing it at home. I learned the second tune from Antóin.

6. Reels - Tommy Coens, The Glen of Aherlow, The Port Hole of the Kelp, Maid Behind the Bar in C

Casann m’athair an chéad dá ríl seo le chéile; chum Bobby Casey an tríú ríl, The Port Hole of the Kelp; fuair muid uilig an ríl deirneach ó Antóin.

The first two tunes would be favourites of my father Pádraig. He calls the first tune Skully Casey’s. Seán Ryan composed the second tune. The third is a Bobby Casey tune with a great story behind the title which I’ll save for the multitudes of gigs this CD will get me. The last tune we learned from Antóin and it does seem to be a version of the Maid Behind the bar.

7. Slow Air - Bruach na Carraige Báine

Fuair mé fonn an amhráin seo ó mo mháthair Máire, nuair a bhí mé óg.

I know a grand total of three slow airs. I learned this from the singing of my mother Máire when I was the cutest little blonde boy you could possibly imagine. I’m dedicating it to the memory of a great friend of mine, Danny O’ Brien, who left this life much too soon. This was a big favourite of his. I recorded a technically better version when the hall was empty but went with the rawness of this one. I think Danny would have preferred that.

8. Jigs - Trip to Athlone, Cailleach an Airgid and Leg of the Duck

Is ó m’athair Pádraig a fuair mé na poirt seo. Cuireann sé Trip to Athlone agus Cailleach an Airgid le chéile i gcónaí.

These jigs are all from my father’s playing. He plays the first two together generally. Simple old tunes but they’re usually the best kind.

9. Hornpipes - The Toss Pot and The Golden Eagle.

Is breá liom an ceol spraíúil atá sna cornphíopaí seo. Le Brendan McGlincy is mo a luaitear The Toss Pot. Is ó Antóin a fuair mé The Golden Eagle.

The Toss Pot (what a great name) will always be associated with the playing of the legendary Brendan McGlinchey. It lodged in my head when Joe Toolin from Dublin used to make a great job of it at fleadhs in days of yore. I learned The Golden Eagle from Antóin when I was two years and four months of age.

10. Reels - The Maids of Moncisco, Sporting Nell, The Flagstone of Memories and Rolling in the RyeGrass

Ní raibh sé i gceist agam na ríleanna seo uilig a chur le chéile ach sin an chaoi a thárla sé. Is é Vincent Broderick a chum The Flagstone of Memories.

The first couple of tunes are extremely well known and I’ve put them together plenty of times before. “Flagstone” is another Vincent Broderick tune. “Ryegrass” is probably one of the first reels we all learn and is still one of my favourites.

11. Slip Jigs - (Garykennedy Selection) Gan Ainm, The Humours of Derrykissane and Gan Anim

D’fhoghlaim Muintir Cinnsealaigh (Uíbh Fháilí) na poirt luascach seo ón mboscdóir cáiliúil Paddy O Brien. D’fhoghlaim muide ón gclann ceolmhar sin iad sna hochtóidí.

My family learned these tunes from, or because of the Kinsella clan of County Offaly back in the fabulous eighties. Quite my favourite family of lunatics. Paddy O’ Brien would have put them together originally.

12. Reels - Dwyer’s and Mick O Connor’s

Ríleanna iontach ceolmhara iad seo a chuala muid ó Mick O Connor é fhéin, ar thaifedadh a rinneadh i mBirmingham i lár na seachtóidí.

These tunes we got from a taped recording of banjo legend Mick O Connor some years ago. The first tune was composed by Michael Dwyer of the well known musical family from Cork originally. The second tune Mick himself composed. Pure gems.

13. Hornpipes and Reels - Sean Bhean Bhocht (Bantry Bay), The Rights of Man, Throw it Across the Road, Farewell to Connaught, Imelda Roland''s, Last Night’s Fun, An Gliomach, Sean Bhean Bhocht (Tomeen O'' Dea''s)

Chuir mé an dreas seo le chéile le cornphíopaí agus ríleanna a d’fhoghlaim mé ó m’athair agus Antóin.

The hornpipe at the start and the reel at the end are once again from my father’s playing and Sean Bhean Bhocht was always our name for them. In between are just a heap of tunes that do me good!

Macdara Ó Raghallaigh

This CD is dedicated to the memory of Félim Ó Raghallaigh - I gcuimhne ar Fhélim; mac, deartháir, fear chéile, athair agus cara dílis.

Buíochas Phearsanta/Special thanks:
My long suffering wife Lara and the three terrors, Liam, Feargus agus MacDara óg. My parents, Máire agus Pádraig, who are responsible for the music in our lives .’S iad mo laochra. My siblings, Nóra (B&B and heckling), Áine (grammar and unused seating), and Mícheál (doorman, dish washer and unbelievable advice). Also my amazing in-laws, Robbie, Kevin, Patricia and Yvonne. A very massive thanks to Paul Quin. A pure legend! To Antóin MacGabhan for being the best fiddle teacher anyone could have and for his kind words (totally without bias of course). Also to my niece Muireann for her fiddle and her song. Go raibh maith agat Munch. Enda Ó Catháin for hall management and helping to get the ball rolling.

Buíochas le/Thanks to:
Patsy, Mícheál agus clann Uí Chatháin go léir, Hilary and Ruth Boylan(mulled wine and baking experts), Mark Ryan(weekly counselling), Paula Murphy of the big tree, Bernie Bean Uí Ghabhann(all the Monday nights) Paul Doyle, Paul McGlinchey, Danny O’ Mahony, Bernadette NicGabhann , Kilteel/Eadstown Comhaltas, Trim Comhaltas, the MacGabhann family, the Boylan family, all the Naomh Pádraig gang(probably the greatest band of all time), Eilleen O’Brien, Mick O’ Connor(the banjo one), Mick O’Connor(the flute one), Paddy Ryan, Tomás MacUileagóid, Denis Grehan(all the bootlegs), Geraldine O’Callaghan, Shay Leon, Crehans music shop, Aifric Boylan, the Farrelly family, Troy Bannon, Máire O’ Grady(for the loan of her husband), Caoimhín Ó Raghallaigh, Emmett Vaughan(computer type stuff), Des O’ Grady, Catherine McEvoy, Tom McGorman. Finally, to all those who came to the concerts my sincere thanks. If all of ye had stayed beside the fire for the weekend this cd would have been named “Shattered Ego”!

Album Credits:

Produced by MacDara Ó Raghallaigh and Noiz Entertainment Ltd.

Arranged and performed by MacDara Ó Raghallaigh.

All tunes traditional except:
The Milky Way, The Ring Around the Moon, The Haunted House, Whistler at the Wake, The Old Flail, The Flagstone of Memories - composed by Vincent Broderick.
Peg McGrath’s, The Mill of Kylemore - composed by Josie McDermott.
Mulhaire’s - composed by Tom Mulhaire.
Tommy Coen’s - composed by Tommy Coen.
The Glen of Aherlow - composed by Seán Ryan.
The Porthole of the Kelp - composed by Bobby Casey.
Dwyer’s - composed by Michael Dwyer.
Mick O’Connor’s - composed by Mick O’Connor.
Imelda Roland’s - composed by Imelda Roland

Recorded, mixed and mastered by Shay Leon, Shay’s Studio, Kylebrack, Loughrea, https://www.tradebit.comway.

Photography: Robbie Clifford, Mark Ryan, Nóra Ní Raghallaigh, Paul Quin, Danny O’ Brien and Macdara O’Raghallaigh.

Design: Paula Murphy.

Published in 2011 by: Laracor Music, Laracor, Trim, Co. Meath.

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