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Cormac Begley & Jack Talty Cd


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Just thought I 'd quickly mention a CD I received this week.

Truth to tell I know very little about Irish music but I am totally enjoying this album.

My first great pleasure is that Jack & Cormac play either together or singly with no other accompaniment. They let their concertinas do the talking.

When friends have given my Irish concertinas albums over the years I have found the accompaniments, often guitars, intrusive. That's just me but here there's nothing to get in the way of just engaging with the music these two engaging musicians play.

Secondly what makes this recording so much more interesting is that they ( Cormac I believe) plays a baritone C/G and occasionally a bass anglo that adds a layer of sound that is so unusual. There is often a lovely growly accompaniment going on.

Finally, their style of playing seems to allow for much more left hand work than you often hear with Irish players that again makes for a more varied experience.

I would be interested to hear what any Irish concertina players here think of Fir Na Bolg.

I wonder if it will not become a concertina "classic" in the sense that the performers have the confidence in their abilities, and their instruments and arrangements, just to let the music unfold.

Robin

This is the first track .........Joe Bann's Barndance & Gypsey princess

https://www.youtube.com/?gl=CA&tab=w1

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This CD has been one of my favourites since I had the good fortune of taking a few classes with Cormac (lovely man!) at the Swaledale Squeeze this year. Some of the tracks are recorded using Bb/F instruments, which really have a lovely, rich sound. The nice, relaxed pace of some of the tunes makes them very approachable, but the inventive left hand playing provides hours of challenging experimentation. Joe Banes (played in G) has become a favourite at my local Irish session here in Canada.

Edited by Bill N
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This CD has been one of my favourites since I had the good fortune of taking a few classes with Cormac (lovely man!) at the Swaledale Squeeze this year. Some of the tracks are recorded using Bb/F instruments, which really have a lovely, rich sound. The nice, relaxed pace of some of the tunes makes them very approachable, but the inventive left hand playing provides hours of challenging experimentation. Joe Banes (played in G) has become a favourite at my local Irish session here in Canada......Joe Bann's Barndance & Gypsey princess

I also think this is a great CD...just to set the story straight they play Joe Bann's Barndance & Gypsey princess in the key of F on C/G concertinas which allows for more chordal options with the left hand on the C/G .what a lovely sound. Doug

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Interesting. I play along with that set on the CD on a Bb/F box, so assumed that's what they did. I'd love to know which of the variously tuned concertinas used on the CD were used on each track. According to the liner notes, they used bass, baritone and standard Bb/F boxes, a G/D Jeffries, Wally Carroll & Suttner C/Gs, and a Carroll C#/G#.

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this is perhaps my favorite irish concertina cd of the last, say, three years....the aesthetic of cormac's playing as well as some of the tune choices shares a lot with the mary macnamara/east clare style, and i believe tunes in more than one set are straight outta east clare, from the repertoire of mary and/or andrew mac. i think john o'connor mentions something about it in the cool little mini-interview that follows the custys video for jack and cormac....even the use of baritone kind of recalls the baritone on mary's 1st solo cd, the one with martin and pj hayes guesting on some tracks. lovely stuff indeed. there's a few wonderful youtube clips of cormac and jack together and apart or with others, lucky for us....

 

for recent releases, i also highly recommend edel fox's latest, "the sunny banks." subtly but significantly different from her prior 2 releases, which were very good but generous with the loud bass chords currently in fashion for concertina. this new one, you hear much less of the bass noise and more front-and-center pure melody, and wow, is it beautiful....

Edited by ceemonster
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[interesting. I play along with that set on the CD on a Bb/F box, so assumed that's what they did.]

 

I dunno....Isn't it a C or, C and F, set? On your box, "C" is fingered like "D" would be on a C/G box. But on a C/G, "C" is an old-school, straight-out "on the row" key, hence Mary Mac and Kitty Hayes playing lots of the stuff we think of as "D" tunes "on the row" on their C/G recordings. I thought that was what Cormac was doing.....

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Until somebody finds a straighter youtube link, here's what I'm using to imagine what we're talking about:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RvTnpbERuOg

here is a good look at it

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iYsJ22JdPqk#t=177

 

BTW it is not that hard to play this in F on a C/G box....just have to work out the 3rd row Bb

Edited by Doug Barr
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yes, right--mary mac plays a lot in "F" as did Kitty Hayes. C and F are actually the reason for the b/c box....all the B/C players play the "between the rows" keys because so many seshes and tunes are in D, A, etc, but the old-school, push-pull, "on the row" keys for b/c are c, f, their relative minors. and then you could do the same in a "B" piper sesh on the "B" row of the b/c box....(B, E, their relative minors)...

 

if i remember correctly, some of mary mac's tracks were on a C#/D# and were in keys appropriate to that, but I can't remember if the C#/G# was the baritone on that record or not...

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Definitely great stuff. There's a Comhaltas vid I remember of Jack Talty playing in a really echo-y hallway--his style is pretty memorable. I also agree with ceemonster about The Sunny Banks, but don't forget Neill Bynre is superfantabulous too. I got to see them play that material and more in CT at a house concert--best show ever.

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OK Doug, trying to keep this straight. Part of my confusion might stem from the fact that I started out playing English music "along the rows" on what i call a G/D. I now also have C/G and Bb/F concertinas which, if I understood a recent discussion on this forum correctly, some Irish players would call D and C boxes.

 

When I play along with the recording of Joe Bane's on Na Fir Bolg I am playing in "F" on my Bb/F (aka Irish C) concertina. I play the melody almost entirely on the right hand by crossing rows, leaving lots of scope for chords and octaves on the left hand. (to clarify my earlier statement, for our session I use the same fingering on my C/G concertina to play it in "G") I note in the interview with Jack and Cormac at the end of the Custy's youtube, that Jack refers to his "C" concertina, pitched an octave higher than Cormac's baritone. So, on the Na Fir Bolg recording of Joe Bane's/Gypsy Princess are they playing the baritone Lachenal Bb/F (aka C) & Sutner Bb/F listed on the liner notes, or the C/G boxes? To my ears, it sounds like there is a lower pitched instrument in the mix. This is especially noticeable in the first few notes.

Edited by Bill N
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OK Doug, trying to keep this straight. Part of my confusion might stem from the fact that I started out playing English music "along the rows" on what i call a G/D. I now also have C/G and Bb/F concertinas which, if I understood a recent discussion on this forum correctly, some Irish players would call D and C boxes.

 

When I play along with the recording of Joe Bane's on Na Fir Bolg I am playing in "F" on my Bb/F (aka Irish C) concertina. I play the melody almost entirely on the right hand by crossing rows, leaving lots of scope for chords and octaves on the left hand. (to clarify my earlier statement, for our session I use the same fingering on my C/G concertina to play it in "G") I note in the interview with Jack and Cormac at the end of the Custy's youtube, that Jack refers to his "C" concertina, pitched an octave higher than Cormac's baritone. So, on the Na Fir Bolg recording of Joe Bane's/Gypsy Princess are they playing the baritone Lachenal Bb/F (aka C) & Sutner Bb/F listed on the liner notes, or the C/G boxes? To my ears, it sounds like there is a lower pitched instrument in the mix. This is especially noticeable in the first few notes.

I never really looked at what Cormac was doing and he very well may be playing on a Bb/F I will take a closer look but I have studied what Jack was playing and he is playing on a C/G

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