Reviews of VT163CD 'My true love he dwells on the mountain'
One of those ‘just what it says on the tin’ discs!
Noting the careful omission of the words “and song” from the sub-title will
betoken that this fine collection of previously unreleased field recordings can
be regarded as an instrumental counterpart to Veteran’s previous release, the
excellent Bring My Love To Connemara (2019) which presented a goodly selection
of sean-nós singers recorded by Critics Group and London Singers’ Club member
Terry Yarnell on his first field trip to Galway in the early 1970s, at the
instigation of Ewan MacColl.
The list of musicians recorded makes for a mouth-watering roll-call, containing celebrated Co. Clare musicians Willie Clancy and Chris Droney and Co. Galway teenager Frankie Gavin (pre De Danann) as well as (to me) lesser-known names such as Gabe O’Sullivan and Jim & Seamus Donoghue. I particularly enjoyed Spiddal tin whistle player Festy Conlon’s rendition of Dónal Óg, Clare fiddler Vincent Griffin’s feisty take on Paddy Fahey’s 1 & 2, piper Dan O’Dowd’s assured account of the air Táimse im’Chodladh, and the spirited pair of reels played by Rita & Sarah Keane with members of their family Céilidhe Band.
But this well-sequenced disc contains not a single performance you’d want to miss (just like stumbling on a great pub session!), and it represents something of an evocative time-capsule, captured in remarkably good sound given the circumstances.
The Living Tradition
Veteran continues to produce consistently
high-quality products and this CD is no exception. Twenty (yes, you read that
right) tracks of traditional music, recorded in the west of Ireland by Terry
Yarnell in the 1970s. Uilleann pipes, fiddle, concertina, accordion, tin whistle
and tambourine are all featured.
English, Dance & Song
It was thanks to Ewan MacColl and Peggy Seeger’s Critics Group that east Londoner Terry Yarnell’s Irish field recordings were launched, with the suggestion that he visit Connemara with Gabe O’Sullivan with a view to recording material for an album.
This was the first of many trips to the west of Ireland with a tape recorder, seeking out local musicians and recording them at home or in pub sessions. The result were informal and intimate recordings of some quite excellent musicians in their prime.
Veteran follow up an earlier CD of Yarnell’s sean nós recordings with this excellent set of instrumental recordings made from 1970 to 1974 in Sligo, Galway and Clare. Record labels can sometimes be unnecessarily defensive about field recordings. They lack the pristine finish of studio recordings (which Yarnell never particularly liked) but are all the better for it.
Here are relaxed and delightful performances by some really fine players, many of them well known from their own albums. This CD is rich with top-notch players, such as the All-Ireland champion fiddler Vincent Griffin, with three sets of reels, and concertina player Chris Droney.
We hear Paddy Bán Ó Broin stepdancing to the whistle playing of a 17-year-old Frankie Gavin, one year away from launching De Danann, and there are some fine pipe performances from Willie Clancy (playing the title air and a smart pair of jigs) and Dan O’Dowd, with the lovely slow air Táimse Im’ Chodladh. Yarnell’s sometime travelling companion (and Clancy’s flatmate in London) O’Sullivan demonstrates his qualities on flute and fiddle. This is a super and representative set of recordings, nicely rounded off with a bracing Maid Of Mount Cisco/Bag Of Potatoes from Rita and Sarah Keane and family.
The CD is presented as neatly and informatively as we have come to expect from the redoubtable Veteran. This super snapshot of a vibrant musical scene is highly recommended.
Veteran CDs & downloads
News Veteran Mail Order welcome page About Veteran
English CDs Scottish CDs Irish CDs American & Blues CDsooks & DVDs
Search by English counties Search by Instruments Shanties & Sea Songs Morris Dance music