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New Album: Tobar Gan Trá


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Dear all,

 

Hopefully this is the correct place to post this, at least it answers a question posted by @rudeboy about this project back in September 2021!

 

I am a concertina player originally from Wicklow, but now based in Cork city, and have just launched a new album, Tobar Gan Trá.

 

Information about this project:

The album was made possible through a Kickstarter campaign that raised over €9.6k last year. Backers contributed to the project from as far away as Australia and British Columbia, Canada. The project is a concept recording that means “a well that doesn’t run dry” and features solo concertina from myself and joined by a host of other musicians that I have played with over the years in Galway, Cork, Limerick, Dublin, London and San Francisco. The first 7 tracks are all solo, with backing being added from musicians such as Johnny “Ringo” MacDonagh, Macdara Ó Faoláin and Conor O’Sullivan. For the last 8 tracks, I have brought in some duets with friends from the above mentioned places. Most of the tracks are "traditional arranged", but a few are recently composed from local musicians around Cork (track 15 for example), and more contemporary composers as well. The CD comes with a 16-page booklet of liner notes about the tunes.

 

For concertina players here especially, I learned the concertina from the great Larry Kinsella (his album was The Barley Grain), and have brought some of his style into this album alongside my own developments over the years. I recorded some tunes for those starting out on concertina (check out the jigs on track 2) and then some more advanced ones as the album progresses. Of note is that the great @Stephen Chambers on here tuned my Wheatstone beforehand, and I have to say he did a superb job, as ever his work is highly recommended. Thanks Steve. 

 

Some more detail: The digital version of the album is available at: https://tobargantra.bandcamp.com and that version has two bonus tracks. I  have posted a review from Karen Ryan of Return to London Town and The London Lasses fame on the official website: https://www.tobargantra.com/faoi-about/. I am now sending the CD by post from orders on the website, and it should be available in the shops in the coming weeks.

 

Feel free to share the info above :) 

Thank you,

Paddy Egan
(Pádraig Mac Aodhgáin)

PaddyEganBandCamp.jpg

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Hey Paddy, 

 

I've been enjoying your album the last few days, some very nice stuff on there. I particularly like your version of Finbar Dwyer's.

 

Your Wheatstone sounds fabulous, perhaps you can tell us more about it, for us instrument dorks out here. 

 

Cheers

Pat

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Thanks, Pat.

 

Finbar Dwyer's reel is a great tune alright - I transposed it up from Angelina Carberry's playing of it. For the recording I did this once or twice to suit the system that I play. I think this tune sits nicely in Em.  

 

The Wheatstone I play is from 1922, 29054 in the ledgers here: http://www.horniman.info/DKNSARC/SD01/IMAGES/D1P1630D.JPG

I don't often hear recordings of that model, so would be interested to hear any more information on that. I know that the great Jack Gilder out in San Francisco plays one from the same era.

 

All the best,

Paddy

 

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As much as I love a Jeffries, your tone as well as Liam O'Brien and Hugh Healy's really makes me appreciate the old Wheatstone sound. Great tone all-round. 

 

I play Dwyer's similarly. I first learned it on the fiddle (my main instrument) from that same fabulous album, but then more recently learned it on the concertina. I like your take on it, there's some phrasing there that I'll probably adopt. 

 

Tory Island, where did you pick that one up? I always called it Murphy's Greyhound, from Junior Crehan, as well as Kitty Hayes (I play it on the row like her). Joey Abarta plays a nice version of it as well. 

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Jeffries is a beautiful sound alright, it always reminds me of listening to Tony Crehan playing in Wexford when I was starting out. The things that stay with you! Hugh and Liam are great, I love Hugh's new album!

 

Interesting that you play fiddle as well. I always think it is a wonderful thing to be able to play two instruments equally well, though I never got that far! I presume you've been playing both for many years?

 

I got Tory Island off of Larry Kinsella. For the album - when I was revisiting his notation of it, I noticed that he incorporated some of William Mullaly's setting (especially at the end of the first part), so I included that too. I've also been interested in adding a lot of William's way of playing fiddle triplets - like quick ornamentation on the high notes a-b-a recently, it's a challenge to pull them off crisply but fun - tried it out mostly on that other bonus track "The Fluttering Waltz"! Must give Joey's version a spin.

 

 

 

 

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Yes, fiddle for a long time, since I was in my teens. The piper Nick Brown lent me his grandfathers old Stagi because I was hooked on Mary and Andrew Mac's Open Hearth album, and that was that. It was only in the last 10 years that I had a decent instrument to learn on though, so still a relative beginner on the concertina.

 

Congrats on the album! Hopefully our paths cross some time for some tunes if you're over in the US or Canada. 


Cheers!

PG

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Nothing like a decent instrument alright - I had a Hohner starting out for a long time and all changed when the Wheatstone arrived.

 

Looking forward to hearing more now. I'm often out in North America, I'll DM you and hopefully meet up along the way.

 

All the best,

Paddy

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Hi

 

Paddy's recording is just wonderful.

I also recommend it! 

I was lucky to have some lessons from him during one of his stays in San Francisco, and benefitted greatly. I even enjoyed hearing him play at the SHAMROCK when some lager louts started swinging the pool cues around during a football game celebration. perfect.

 

Richard

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I'm really enjoying this album. Great variety of tunes, styles, tempos, feel. The arrangements with the other instruments are well done, just enough to add pep and atmosphere, never overdone. The playing is wonderful. Thanks for sharing this release and best of luck to you.

Edited by Corbin Collins
typo
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On 3/26/2022 at 7:12 PM, richard said:

Hi

 

Paddy's recording is just wonderful.

I also recommend it! 

I was lucky to have some lessons from him during one of his stays in San Francisco, and benefitted greatly. I even enjoyed hearing him play at the SHAMROCK when some lager louts started swinging the pool cues around during a football game celebration. perfect.

 

Richard

 

Hey Richard, great to hear from you, and thanks for the kind words. I'm delighted with the feedback on the album so far, it has been a long road but I'm happy to have put the effort in, it's paying off.

 

Oh, yes, that pub was wild, we were lucky to come away with the bellows intact a few times!! Great times in San Francisco, I hope that you are still playing away out there.

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On 3/26/2022 at 11:33 PM, Corbin Collins said:

I'm really enjoying this album. Great variety of tunes, styles, tempos, feel. The arrangements with the other instruments are well done, just enough to add pep and atmosphere, never overdone. The playing is wonderful. Thanks for sharing this release and best of luck to you.

 

 Great to hear this, Corbin.

 

I'm glad that that the album is getting out there. Good to hear that the balance of arrangements is liked, it can be a difficult thing to get right but it seems to have worked well 🙂

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