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I have recently come back from 6 weeks living in east Clare (Tulla) and studying concertina with Mary MacNamara. I am a retired music teacher that has come late to Irish trad but am now deeply involved in it.
I have never really done any research but currently am obsessed with the influence of the concertina player from Feakle, John Naughton. As you know he was a big influence on musicians such as Mary MacNamara, Martin Hayes and Christy MacNamara.
It is amazing to me that this man, who really had no commercial recording or "original" tune has had such an impact on music of this area. You find many tunes recorded with just the name John Naughton as the title.
I am currently searching out recordings of his and any information about the man on the internet but am finding it difficult. I have been transcribing some of the recordings I have found.
I went to the local Arts counsel to discuss possible grants that might help with my research.
You sound like the man to help me out. any ideas or suggestions will help.
Gerald O'Halloran,the well known Clare Concertina player now based in Canada fully researched John Naughton in his superb doctoral thesis which covered Concertina playing throughout County Clare.I obtained a copy of the thesis from the British Library but I understand it has now been withdrawn and is not available.His research was carried out in the 1980's. Thus it appears any research you carried out would be covering ground already fully dealt with.
Hi Mark, I happen to have this document. From what I can figure out, most of Gearoid"s writing is based on an interview with John done in Dublin in 1986. In 15 pages there are scarcely 3 paragraphs about his instrument(at the time) and his style/technique. Apparently John switched to playing an English concertina. I am more interested in his earlier playing which would have been on a 20B instrument along the rows. This is the music he would have been playing in and around Feakle with Bill Malley and Joe Bane. This is the music that Martin Hayes and Mary MacNamara would have been exposed to in their formative years.
I'm very interested in the research you're discussing here. I'm a huge fan of Mary's, her playing is what brought me to the concertina, being primarily a fiddle player. I spent some time in Feakle in 2017 but didn't turn up many musicians at the time. I did enjoy some good meals at Peppers, and some nice walks in the area. I spent an afternoon with Mary and enjoyed some lessons with her. I would like to go back and make a more concerted effort to study Naughton, O'Malley and Joe Bane next time. I hear a lot of the same influence in Pat O'Connor's fiddle playing, maybe to a stronger degree than Martin Hayes' more recent music. Pat to my ear is more akin to P. Joe. Patrick Ourceau here in Canada was one of my fiddle teachers, and he is also a great source of knowledge of these players.
Patrick Brandon Gidley