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Thread: Fiddle Tune CD ?

  1. #1
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    Learning some easy tunes - Swallowtail Jig etc.

    I would like to find a CD or 2 of Celtic fiddle standards ( by actual Celtic fiddlers) to better understand phrasing and articulation etc.

    Something lively !

    I am learning from written music and Mando DVD's.

    I'd like to get a bit closer to the source.

    Thanks in advance,
    Eric
    Eric Bannan
    A.K.A Bus Stop Eddy
    http://www.justlisten.com

  2. #2
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    I have a CD at home with some celtic, swedish, quebec and more fiddle tunes played at two speeds- slow and normal- played by an expert fiddler . She recorded them for the purpose of teaching. If you want, e-me so I can provide you with her address. (Her address is at home and I'm at work, so I'll forget between here & there)

    I think she would be able to provide you with a copy. Tell her you got her name from a student at Clarion Folk College weekend. Best wishes-

  3. #3
    Registered User Bob DeVellis's Avatar
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    There are zillions of CDs that will fit your bill to varying degrees, depending on what you're after. First, by "Celtic" do you mean Irish traditional dance music (jigs, reels, etc.), more new age stuff, Scottish, Cape Breton? They're all at least a little different from one another. There are some classical recordings of sessions such as Paddy in the Smoke that give a real feel for how Irish music is played in informal settings by seasoned musicians. Mick Moloney's Strings Attached is a mandolin/banjo CD that gives a good feel for both dance music and more courtly airs played in their respective styles on mandolin and banjo. Tin whistle, uillian pipes, or concertina CDs can also give a good feel for the music. I like Mary McNamara's and Chris Droney's concertina CDs for their excellent representation of tunes in the more relaxed Clare style. The more northerern styles (Donegal, Sligo, and Mayo) seem more popular with fiddlers. They're fast and exciting approaches to Irish music but may be more daunting to a beginner than the Clare styles. The Clare tunes still have lots of energy but a bit perhaps more emphasis on phrasing and elaboration than on sheer speed. Regional styles are far less discrete than they used to be but listening to one of the concertina CDs I just mentioned and comparing it to, say, a Dervish CD will still reveal stylistic differences. Dervish (a Sligo band), by the way are fabulous as examples of dynamic, exciting ensemble playing. There is really a vast wealth of music out there. Just dive in and let your ears and heart guide you in the direction you find most appealing.
    Bob DeVellis

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    Seamus Connely and Laurel Martin, 2 great Boston area Irish fiddlers, have an excellent book from Mel Bay publishers calle "Forget Me Not". It comes with a cd that has 2 versions of each tune...one simple and one with ornamentation.
    Great learning tool, although the tunes are somewhat less common than other collections.

    Brid Cranitch has a couple of books of Irish Session Tunes in sets with cds. Kevin Burke of the Bothy Band and Patrick Street has material out from Homespun Tapes. I think Aly Bain from the Shetlands has a book/cd pack out and Elderly has a book/cd of Scottish fiddle tunes available.

    Those ought to keep you busy for a while
    Steve

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    Thanks for the replies so far.

    By Celtic I mean traditional Irish dance music (Jigs, Reels,etc).

    What I am looking for is something to supplement the play along stuff I have ( Steve Kaufmans Celtic workout etc.)
    The melodies are played relatively straight as written in most cases.

    I also play guitar and when I want to hear someone really embelish a bluegrass tune I put in a Tony Rice CD.
    This helps provide insight on what can be done with a simple tune.
    I guess I am looking for the Tony Rice of Irish fiddle.
    Eric Bannan
    A.K.A Bus Stop Eddy
    http://www.justlisten.com

  6. #6
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    Well - you may want to listen to any of the offerings of Liz Carrol, Natalie MacMaster or Jennifer Wrigley. These three (among a host of others) all are absolute masters of the tradtion, as done today. Then there is the amazing duet of Martin Hayes and Dennis Cahill. Their Live from Seattle CD has to be heard to be believed. I think both Martin and Dennis originally hale from Clare - the playing is consequently much more laid back and expressive.

    My current favorite is a very obscure CD by Aly Bain and Tom Anderson called the Silver Bow - Tradtional Music of the Shetlands. This is a plaintive, primative and absolutely charming exploration of some almost lost tunes. I think it maybe one of Aly Bains first records - and is probably Tom Anderson's final output. This doesn't have the pyrotechnics of more modern players but talk about emotion! These aren't just tunes but an expression of a life time of experience. It amazes me to hear how various pieces of this collection were twisted by other players as they were brought off the islands.
    Mandola fever is permanent.

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