View Full Version : Eleanor Shanley, Paul Kelly, Frankie Lane

Magnus Hansen
Feb-05-2004, 6:21pm
Having just returned from the second concert of Eleanor Shanley Trios Continental tour, starting in Slagelse, Denmark, I would like to make a few comments on the concert.

It should be said beforehand that I went because of Paul Kelly whose "a Mandolin Album" I own, listen to and love. I had never before heard Elanor Shanley or Frankie Lane so I didn't have any particular expectations of them other than their being fine musicians.

They started of with a few traditionals: "Do you love an apple", "johnny lovely johnny" and a few more. I noticed that Paul Kelly was playing very little yet tastefully on his lefty Gibson A-mandolin, a sign of good musicianship I thought: and I would prove to be right. What was most compelling about their playing of simple trad songs were their attitudes: they simply loved playing and it showed and it came off stage. They were extremely humorous and very skilled at making the audience feel involved.

The highlights were all in the second set: Frankie Lane whose Dobro playing had been modest up until that point played a haunting version of the tune "Paul Ha'penny" that I had dfinately heard somewhere but probably under a different name, and he followed it by a song I think of his own device. Then came the mandolin peak of the night: Paul Kelly who had only played tasteful backing up until that point played a hungarian Czardas written by an italian composer I think its name was "monte Czardas"?I had definately heard it before (If any one has tabs fo this tune I'd love to get my hands on them.)His playing was uncanny: he had an extreme variation in tempo, and dymnamics combined with a a bell-like round mandolin tone an no false notes or off-hits. The tune flowed like it would have from a skilled gypsy violoinist. I did not thing that that kind of variation in expression could be achieved on a mandolin, I have always thought it a shame that I didn't learn to play the violin since it has such a great rabge of expression: Paul Kelly proved that the Mandolin has the exact same range and now I will have to work overtime trying to achieve a small percentage of what he was able to play. Then ELeanor Shanly preformed "Raglan Road" beautifully a capella and my hopes for a concert experience were fulfilled. After this the mood of the concert skyrocketed and they played fast and loud songs from a country and western/Bluegrass vein among them a few of Frankie Lanes songs. They finished off with two extras: "c'est la vie (goes to show you never can tell)" and "Man of constant sorrow" and the crowd went wild! A great concert in a small and intimate venue, (I sat so close to the stage that I had to duck from frankie lanes spittle a few times. Man that man sings nice Bluegrass harmonies!)

I will encourage all and everyone to go see this trio if you have the chance and to buy their various solo albums, particularly Paul Kellys.

Feb-06-2004, 10:22am
I went to a lot of trouble to get Paul Kelly's CD from Ireland, but it was well worth it.There is NO mandolin player that can top Paul Kelly in Celtic and European folk music IMHO.He needs more American exposure to be appreciated here.BTW was he playing an F hole or a round hole Gibson?

Magnus Hansen
Feb-07-2004, 12:04pm
He played an f-hole one. And of course a little fiddle and guitar.