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New Paddy Murphy Cd Available

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Great news! I am thrilled to announce the official Irish launch of the long awaited CD “Paddy Murphy - In Good Hands: Field Recordings from a Pioneer of the Irish Concertina” (produced by Peadar O’Loughlin and Gearóid Ó hAllmhuráin, executive producer Cecilia McDonnell, Celtic Crossings, San Francisco)


Concertina.net members are invited to visit http://www.PaddyMurphy.eu for advance purchases. CDs will begin shipping on December 8th!


Honoring the Clareman who taught his distinctive style to noted concertina players Noel Hill, Gearóid Ó hAllmhuráin, Gerald Haugh, Miriam Collins and others, this memorial CD features 28 tracks of tunes and field interviews with Paddy Murphy of Bealgragga, Co. Clare. Rich with fascinating anecdotes and rare photos, historian Dr Gearóid Ó hAllmhuráin has written the enclosed 28 page book revealing the origins of the Irish concertina and tracin' the oral history of ‘hedge school’ style music teachers, céilí bands, early recordings, fleadhanna, and much more.


On Saturday, December 8, the great Clare concertina player Paddy Murphy (1913-1992) will be honored in his home parish of Kilmaley, as music lovers from all over Ireland converge on the Kilmaley Inn to celebrate the launch of an archive CD of his music. One of the pioneers of Irish concertina music, Murphy was the first concertina player to win an All Ireland title and was one of the earliest players to record concertina music on Radio Éireann. Cathal Goan, Director General of RTE, will launch the CD, which was produced by Paddy Murphy’s life-long friend Peadar O’Loughlin and Dr. Gearóid Ó hAllmhuráin for the San Francisco-based Celtic Crossings label. The organisers of the launch have issued an open invitation to the general public - especially musicians, as well as neighbours and friends of Paddy Murphy - to join them in Kilmaley for what will undoubtedly prove to be a great night of music and celebration.


Influenced by the recordings of William J. Mullaly, the first Irish concertina player to record commercially during the Golden Age of Irish Music in the US during the 1920s, Murphy is regarded as a founding father of modern Irish concertina music. A native of Fiach Roe, a rural community in the musically rich heartland of West Clare, Paddy Murphy pioneered a unique system of cross-row fingering that facilitated the use of alternative scales for traditional dance tunes, in keys that were largely unfamiliar to most of his peers in the 1940s and 1950s. One of the first Clare musicians to broadcast on Radio Éireann, Murphy was also a competitive pioneer of the instrument. His victory at the All Ireland Fleadh Cheoil in Cavan in 1954 marked the first appearance of the concertina in a national music competition. Lauded by uilleann piper Willie Clancy as Ireland’s ‘finest concertina player’, Murphy, who died in 1992, was also a gifted teacher. His students included, Gerald Haugh, Dr. Gearóid Ó hAllmhuráin, Miriam Collins and Noel Hill, the latter who has promoted the concertina music of Clare far and wide, and whose teaching has influenced concertina enthusiasts on both sides of the Atlantic.


While Murphy’s music has become legendary as the source of Noel Hill’s virtuoso playing, precious little is known or heard of the original master himself, who was only briefly featured on one commercial recording in 1977. This new CD project has finally redressed the shortcoming. Collating a cross-section of field recordings (reel-to-reel tapes from the 1950s and cassette-based materials from the 1970s and 1980s) into one single digital recording, this CD also includes interview extracts, as well as historic photographs, and a lengthy biography of Murphy and his music.


All the best,

Cecilia McDonnell


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On Saturday, December 8, the great Clare concertina player Paddy Murphy (1913-1992) will be honored in his home parish of Kilmaley, as music lovers from all over Ireland converge on the Kilmaley Inn to celebrate the launch of an archive CD of his music.


And I'll be there for one, I already saw it it advertised!


I often used to hear Paddy playing for the sets at Inagh on a Sunday night, even before the dancefloor was built there, when they had to dance between the pub tables - the old set dancers needed a lot less space than is expected today. I visited him at his house at Bealcragga too, with a line of concertinas on the high shelf over the kitchen fireplace - the best place to keep them dry in the damp old farmhouses around here.


I understand that there was no concertina competition as such at the fleadhs until Paddy won so convincingly, it was classified as a "miscellaneous" instrument. There's a nice clip of himself and Peadar O'Loughlan (they were a famous duet playing together), at the Cashel Fleadh in 1963, on the RTÉ dvd Come West Along the Road 2, RTÉDVD113.

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Ordered and on the way. I hope to hear a fantastic review after the show on Saturday.

The Mulcahey family, Peadar O’Loughlin, Edel Fox, Maeve Donnelly, Meaití Jo Shéamuis, Gearóid Ó hAllmhuráin, Manus McGuire, Tim Collins, Anthony Quigney, Claire Keville, Joan Hanrahan and many more!

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The night went very well, though the music didn't start until 9.30 (so I wasn't far wrong ;) ). It was a bit like a gathering of old friends, mainly of people who'd been inspired by Paddy's music over the years, and in addition to the listed names (at least, the ones on it who turned up) there were also Gerald Haugh, Dympna O'Sullivan, Eamon Cotter, Eamon McGibney, John Joe Tuttle, Mick O'Connor (all the way from Dublin) with his daughter Aoife - who was telling me how Paddy Murphy had encouraged her to play when she was first learning the concertina, Nicky & Anne McAuliffe, and even Joe Burke & Paddy Glackin dropped in - as they happened to be in the neighborhood... Oh, and not forgetting the (augmented) Kilfenora Ceilidh Band!


Apologies if I've missed anybody - I might be adding a name or two yet...


Dreadful weather here though, maybe time to start building an Ark? :unsure:

Edited by Stephen Chambers
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I have just listened to the CD a little bit...It is great and very inspiring.


I wonder if a recording of the CD launch itself would be available? It sounds like it was a great evening of concertina.



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I wonder if a recording of the CD launch itself would be available? It sounds like it was a great evening of concertina.



Well it was being recorded, though I'm not sure for what purpose - maybe something to do with Cathal Goan, the Director General of RTE, launching the CD?


However, most of the musicians that I named play instruments other than the concertina...

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This CD is awesome - thank you so much for producing it. I've treasured the one Paddy Murphy track I have on an anthology of Irish concertina playing I bought 30 years ago, and never expected to be able to hear more of him. The field recordings are very high quality, it's just the overpolished distancing effect of many studio recordings that's missing; and it's a bonus to be able to hear his voice, to have a slightly more rounded picture of the man and the music than I was expecting.

Great sleeve notes, tool, they bring alive the music and the whole background to his playing. The description of Paddy Murphy & friends gathered round the gramophone learning tunes off every new 78 they could get hold of mirrors what was happening at just the same time of Northumberland, with Will Atkinson (a mouth organ not concertina player, I know, but an equally great inspiration to many concertina players).


Thanks very much for producing it.



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