Who is the most influential Irish fiddler???

Who is the most influential Irish fiddler???

Ireland is involved in a history project I’m working on, and I need to write about a musician who is/was an influence to music in Ireland. I just thought I’d research on an Irish fiddler because that’s the instrument I am learning. Can anyone give me any names???

Thank you all!!! :)
Blu

Re: Who is the most influential Irish fiddler???

*The* most influential fiddler? Historically speaking? Good lord. I don’t think you could narrow it down to one. Michael Coleman in the US, is probably the most ‘popular’ fiddler that most people who are not players themselves *might* know of. But certainly there were a ton more.

Zina

Re: Who is the most influential Irish fiddler???

If you want to write about an influential Irish musician in general, I’d write about Donal Lunny, who introduced the bouzouki to Irish music….or….

Paddy Moloney, founder of the Chieftains, one of the first ‘supergroups’ to bring ITM into the mainstream (along with the Bothy Band, Patrick Street, etc)….or….

Eileen Ivers, who was one of the first to integrate Irish and world music on a commercial recording…..or…..

Michael McGoldrick, who did the same thing with ‘Fused’

I’ve got more ideas in my brain but I’m tired so I can’t remember any more. Just a few suggestions anyway.

Cara

oh, Donal Lunny is also a mega-producer, engineer, composer, etc etc etc. There is nothing that guy does not do!

Re: Who is the most influential Irish fiddler???

Blu, is there a date range that you’d like to stay in? Pre-1900s? Pre-1960s or 70s? Contemporary? Did you want someone in Ireland only, or do Irish immigrants count?

You could do Julia Clifford — might be fun to do your report on one of the women fiddlers in a field largely dominated by men… Or what about Tom Glackin, father of Paddy, Seamus and Kevin, a Donegal master fiddler who moved his family to Dublin? Or you could do an overall report on the Traveller (Pavee) families who helped keep the music alive when there were bans on the language, music, and dance — the Cashes, Dorans, etc?

1 am — time to head off for bed!

zls

P.s.

Might want to ask Michael Reid or Michael Reshetnick if they have any books or CDs (look at the liner notes) in that lending library of theirs for the Conor’s session that might help you, blu.

Re: Who is the most influential Irish fiddler???

Michael Coleman would be quite interesting I think, because of the historically pivotal role of the early recordings. Up till then, people would have mainly a local influence; suddenly a few individuals (those who happened to be in New York at the right time) were able to wield a far more widespread influence, as their records were imported back to Ireland, changing the whole course of Irish music history (in terms of regional style, for example). So your essay could also touch on that important shift in the tradition and on the whole question of what influence is, where it comes from, and how it works. Woh, big stuff!
Also, there will be masses of info on that subject available on the web, so it won’t be hard to find the material for your essay…

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Re: Who is the most influential Irish fiddler???

I’ve heard it said that James Morrison was technically a better fiddle player than Coleman, but history has deemed that Coleman became the more famous. I can’t really tell as I don’t play fiddle. They both sound good to me.

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ps - I meant that there will be masses of info on Michael Coleman, rather than that there will be masses on the subject of tradition and influence, though there probably is!
I had a look at Danny Meehan’s site the other day -http://www.dannymeehan.com . He’s a Donegal fiddler who was enormously influenced by Michael Coleman, who was of course from Sligo. Although he still reveres Coleman, he says that he now regrets that Coleman led him away from his own regional style…

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Re: Who is the most influential Irish fiddler???

It would have to be Coleman, simply because of the huge influence of his recordings. Others of that era might be James Morrison, or Paddy Killoran, possibly Michael Gorman, but I don’t think they had the popularity of Michael Coleman.

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Re: Who is the most influential Irish fiddler???

To further complicate matters, it depends which part of Ireland you’re referring to. Johnny Doherty would have been most influential in Donegal fiddling, Padraig O’Keeffe and Denis Murphy in Co.Kerry, and possibly Bobby Casey in Co.Clare.
There are plenty (possibly too many!)to choose from. Good luck.

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Re: Who is the most influential Irish fiddler???

In my opionion the most influential Irish fiddlers in modern times are: Frankie Gavin from County Galway, who plays with De Dannan (for more info see: http://www.tradcentre.com/frankie ) or Cathal Hayden from county Tyrone who plays with Four Men and a Dog (for more info see: http://www.4menandadog.com and http://www.tradcentre.com/frankie ) Tommy Peoples is also a very influential fiddle player, from Co Donegal originally, but now living in Co Clare is also an amazingly influential fiddler (http://homepage.tinet.ie/~logo/tommy.htm) Of course the greats like Michael Coleman from County Sligo cannot go unrecognised as his 78 recordings from his time in America are often heralded as one of the saving graces in todays massive re-emergance of Irish fiddle music.

Re: Who is the most influential Irish fiddler???

If you’d care to cap off the research project with the most contemporary of influential fiddlers, Kevin Burke, Mair

Re: Who is the most influential Irish fiddler???

You forgot Martin Hayes on that list, Caoimghgin. I’ve been amazed to find his CDs in the collections of friends I didn’t think even knew what Irish traditional music was…

zls

Re: Who is the most influential Irish fiddler???

Martin Hayes may be popular, but that does not mean he’s influential. I’ve met many fiddlers who think his music is fun & exciting (or relaxing), but very few great players I know would say he influenced their playing.

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Really? I’ve known a few…but whatever. Different influences on different lists…

Re: Who is the most influential Irish fiddler???

As far as my playing is concerned, Will Harmon, of course. But also Zina Lee and Brad Moloney.

Re: Who is the most influential Irish fiddler???

Ah! Good call Zina!

Re: Who is the most influential Irish fiddler???

Glauber, I think Blu is looking for *good* influences…..

Along the same lines, my influences include Misters Guiness and Jameson….

Has anyone mentioned Junior Crehan? And how about Martin Rocheford, Con Cassidy, Master Crowley?

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Re: Who is the most influential Irish fiddler???

go for www.irishfiddle.com - they have a pretty complete list of fiddlers who are more or less influential.

Re: Who is the most influential Irish fiddler???

Hey everyone!,

I just finished my *writing piece* on Tommy Peoples!!!….I really like Micheal Coleman, but had too much trouble finding info on him….same with a lot of other fiddlers, but it might just be because I’m a *teen*, I short circut more than I should! *blush*

But thank you all!!!! I’ll keep all these names filed in my mind for my fiddle teacher! :)

Cheers!,
Blu

P.S. Why is Martin Hayes NOT considered an influential fiddler???

Re: Who is the most influential Irish fiddler???

I happen to think Martin Hayes *is* an influential fiddler, but I’m biased—I’ve been influenced by him.

I suppsoe some people would say that he’s not widely emulated in sessions (because his versions tend to be in unfriendly keys and "overwrought" with subtleties), and that his approach to tunes is too personal (or difficult) to be copied well. I’ve also heard people slam him for being too far afield from the tradition.

But Martin plays all over and teaches at many camps and festivals, so I can’t help but think he’s at least spreading some Clare tunes around (I for one never would’ve heard Bill Malley’s Barndance if it weren’t for Hayes).

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Re: Who is the most influential Irish fiddler???

Hey Blu! Good choice!

Martin Hayes is a very odd bird in the ITM circle. More or less, he moves a bit outside the dance rhythm and turns it into listening music, if that makes any sense at all. No one would say he’s a bad player, in fact he’s very enjoyable, but you’d likely get a few eyebrows raised if you try some of his stuff at session (and that includes East Clare). Anyway, you should pick up any of his CD’s and let us know what you think. Try Martin Hayes’s self titled album or Martin Hayes & Dennis Cahill on the Lonesome Touch album. Both are good choices.

Let us know how the report did!

Re: Who is the most influential Irish fiddler???

I’m not saying he’s a bad player or even that he isn’t influential - I just wouldn’t put him down as a major influence in trad music when compared to Coleman, Doherty, Gavin & of course Peoples. Martin is a one of a kind fiddler, more along the lines of Tommy Potts or folks like that - it’s fun & makes for great listening. However a note for note rendition of one of those settings at a session wouldn’t be welcomed by everyone (save as a showpiece). All that aside I think Tommy Peoples was a very good choice, his music is very influential. It’s hard to walk the line of being inventive & still traditional.
Hope this clears things up,
Brad

Re: Who is the most influential Irish fiddler???

I understand more now about Martin Hayes…..when my teacher gave me a copy of my Kevin Burke cd at a slower speed, she also included some Martin Hayes tunes from Lonesome Touch…..and when he came up as a "hmmmm" fiddler here, it just got me curious. There are some fiddlers who I doubt I could ever really "follow" in terms of the way they play tunes, and that’s okay, I just listen for enjoyment then, but Kevin Burke is my main influence, and now I understand why.

Inventive and traditional: Sometimes I think that there are only so many different ways you can play something, give it a *slight* twist, and still keep it trad…..like *celtic rock bands*, you cringe sometimes because it makes you think that they’re not even sticking to their roots, but sometimes if it’s the right mixture of both old and new, then I like it…..but full out trad will always make me smile, no matter how many fiddlers out there play the same tunes, because every single individual fiddler has a *style*, even the smallest difference like a special ornament here or there, it still makes them unique but traditional.:)

Well, that was my blabbing on for the night *blush* :)

I will tell how the report came!, and for once it was nice to *inform* my teacher about someone he had no idea about! *made me feel a wee bit taller* :)

Thank you all so so much!!!,
Blu

Re: Who is the most influential Irish fiddler???

But there’s no such thing as "full out trad". "Trad" is like this abstract concept we’re using to label what we play. For example look at Dervish. A lot of people would say they keep it much more "trad" than other similar bands. But most bands like this use bouzoukis which are a recent innovation rather than being "trad". And to say there are only a few different ways you can play something and still keep it trad, well that’s just bollox.

Re: Who is the most influential Irish fiddler???

I might listen to music a different way than you, I am a beginner, but that doesn’t make my opinion any less valuable….I still have a lot to learn, and I take in your opinion with full heart, but feel stupid by what you said.

Re: Who is the most influential Irish fiddler???

Martin Hayes plays ITM NOT AITM (or American Irish Traditional Music).

Martin IS an IRISH man who plays Irish Traditional Music. HE is NOT an American, albeit he lives in the USA.

He is LEADING edge. He is innovative and creative. He does not, to my thoughts, wish to re-create what has gone before note for note, bow for bow etc. Some how I feel some of you all out there think ITM is set in stone. This is how you do it. This is the mind set. NO WAY. If it’s living, then let it grow.

Maybe some AITM players need realise that the music changes, has clearly changed in the USA to some thing else, affiliated. I’d like to see ITM and AITM and maybe other Irish music being identified by which culture/country it has become.

Re: Who is the most influential Irish fiddler???

Er. Where did you get the idea anyone said he was American, exactly? Or that he doesn’t play Irish music? I believe that what was said was that some people think he’s influential and others don’t, and also that some of his album recordings contain settings that wouldn’t go over well when you’re playing in a session with other people who might not be using those settings.

Personally, I don’t really get into the whole "this is Irish music, this is American Irish music, this is British Irish music" thing. I personally just think of it as another regional difference, really. However, I acknowledge, certainly, that many players outside Ireland (in various countries) tend towards much more pickiness about how "traditionally" they’re going to play, probably mainly because we have to — sort of like only women can make derogatory jokes about women, minorities make minority jokes, etc.

Some people love Martin Hayes’s playing. Others don’t. (Personally, I’m in the first group.) This is similar to some people liking Kevin Burke’s, Tommy Potts’s, Tommy People’s, *insert any other fiddler here*’s playing, and some people not. It’s just not that big a deal to get in an argument about, and I fancy that Mr. Hayes would say the same thing.

And certainly there are many American players who play a recognizably different style of Irish music, but I’ve also heard a great many Irish players in America who play a very Irish sounding style of Irish music. I guess it depends on how exactly you want to define the music.

Feel free to start yet another thread on the subject.

Zina

Re: Who is the most influential Irish fiddler???

Blu, if your research led you at all toward listening to Mr. Peoples playing, then you’re on a really good start to broadening your fiddle horizons. My earliest influence on fiddle was Kevin Burke, but I also got introduced to Tommy Peoples soon after, and the combination makes for some very interesting stylistic choices when you learn new tunes. Both of them are very good at assimilating different regional styles and adding their own trademark approach, and you can do a lot worse than studying their work to get a start in this music.

Just one word of warning, tho. Don’t get too hung up on trying to make your bowed triplets sound like Tommy’s. To my ear, no one else has ever managed it. It doesn’t hurt to try, just so you get a feel for what’s involved…and how amazing Peoples’ triplets are. Do listen, however, to *where* he places them—he’s a master at that, as well.

Susie, I cannot see where you got your misperception of what people were saying on this thread. I think we all know that Martin was born and raised in east Clare, learned to fiddle at the knee of his father, P.J. Hayes and uncle Paddy Canny, and under the influence of such greats as Martin Rocheford, whistler Joe Bane, and Kevin Burke (Martin says he learned every track on all of Burke’s recordings).

But Hayes has also played in rock bands, lived in Chicago and Seattle for long stints, and sometimes reveals the influences of more American and other world music idioms, notably jazz (e.g., listen to Jimmy on the Moor on the Lonesome Touch).

To my mind, that all makes him a wonderful, remarkable player, certainly adept at pure drop Irish trad music, but also able to play in many other forms and styles. Sometimes these enter into his trad repertoire. Sometimes they don’t. I don’t see the point in getting defensive about it, since Martin himself acknowledges these other influences. And I don’t see anyone here disparaging him for that, or saying it makes him less of an Irish trad player. It’s just that doing Star of Munster as a slow piece in G dorian or whatever (as on his first cd "Martin Hayes") really doesn’t work in most typical sessions (where everybody plays Star as an uptempo reel, usually in A dorian).

Oh, and Mark? I have to agree with Blu on your comment—I think you’re splitting hairs about "full on trad" and how much innovation the tradition can accept while still remaining traditional. Blu wasn’t disparaging innovation, only suggesting that there are, after all, limits. Otherwise we’d all be playing Purple Haze on lagerphones and electric zithers and calling it Irish trad music (well, why not? :o).

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Re: Who is the most influential Irish fiddler???

Mmm? Never said he was American. (Martin Hayes.) Just what you all just said mostly. He is influential and as such IS leading edge .

And yup, he draws on so much that is around, jazz etc. I feel that because he is so innovative and yet STILL plays within the bounds or what I understand as Irish (East Clare etc), that he is is leading edge and possibly more controversial than influential as a result.

I also feel that somewhere along the way ITM players do what he does, to greater or lesser extent. That we’re all influenced by the culture we find ourselves. Me, I play ITM but probably to your ears have an English lilt to my playing.

Our greatest influences are often in our own backyard. It’s easy to think we’re playing within a style, East Clare, Sligo or whatever. Our own backgrounds create, sublimily maybe, something else. AND THAT’S FINE. As long as we recognise that. Me, I play EITM, English Irish Traditional Music. I draw on a different bag of tools.

Any Help?

Re: Who is the most influential Irish fiddler???

Well, yes, but your previous post implied that some of us didn’t know Hayes is Irish… let’s just drop this before we get any sillier. :o)

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Re: Who is the most influential Irish fiddler???

No kidding? He’s Irish? You’re talking about Isaac Hayes, right?

Re: Who is the most influential Irish fiddler???

See what I mean….

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Re: Who is the most influential Irish fiddler???

Who’s the black private dick
That’s a sex machine to all the chicks?
SHAFT!
Ya damn right!

Who is the man that would risk his neck
For his brother man?
SHAFT!
Can you dig it?

Who’s the cat that won’t cop out
When there’s danger all about?
SHAFT!
Right On!

They say this cat Shaft is a bad mother
SHUT YOUR MOUTH!
I’m talkin’ ‘bout Shaft.
THEN WE CAN DIG IT!

He’s a complicated man
But no one understands him but his woman
JOHN SHAFT!

Re: Who is the most influential Irish fiddler???

Sounds like a heck of a fiddler, this Sean O’Shaft fella….

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Re: Who is the most influential Irish fiddler???

Wha — did I miss something in the conversation here?! *snort*

Re: Who is the most influential Irish fiddler???

Zina, Isaac Hayes is NOT Armenian and does NOT play moravian nose flute. But he’s cutting edge and very influential, nonetheless….

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oh yeah…. :o) ;o) :o) :o) :o) :o)

Am I getting my threads mixed up? Where was it we were talking about "slagging," and how you’re really not a member of the group until someone slags you (and you take it good naturedly, until the chance arises to slag them back)…?

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Re: Who is the most influential Irish fiddler???

*snort*

Re: Who is the most influential Irish fiddler???

The Moravian Nose Flute has come up in a few threads lately as a humorous "nonsense" instrument that NO ONE could possibly play ITM on, because it does not exist.

However…

There *is* such an instrument! It’s not Moravian, but Hawaiian. For some pics (and ordering info), try this link:

http://www.halekuai.com/products/home/view.asp?productId=79

Do you realize what this means?

In theory, somewhere in Hawaii, there may be a session going on where ITM is being vigorous played on… the nose flute.

What a world, huh?

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Re: Who is the most influential Irish fiddler???

Oh. My. God. LOL — RG, did you actually go LOOKING for that? hahahaha….!

Ah me, that’s as good as the first time we found out that someone had actually played ITM on the tuba…

Re: Who is the most influential Irish fiddler???

I of course got a chuckle whenever anyone mentioned the Nose Flute, and just now the thought struck me, "I’ll bet that it actually exists somewhere." Just type in "Nose Flute" in yahoo and you’ll immediately get a few sites.

In an infinite universe, not only is something not impossible, but it’s sure to exist somewhere.

I don’t know if the universe is infinite, but musical instruments sure seem to be.

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Nose flute

This instrument is featured prominently in the Baroque sonatas of P.D.Q. Bach.

Re: Who is the most influential Irish fiddler???

Actually, I have a neighbor here in Montana who lived on Maui for years and he has a nose flute in his collection of Native American (and Hawaiian) flutes. So I thought the "moravian" part was a funny spin on an old polynesian tradition.

I’ll have to give it a go and see what scale it plays, and then find an appropriate Irish tune and introduce this at our next session….

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…although the thought of working on my "embouchure" is making me a little queasy….

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Ha! And you thought that cleaning out a REGULAR wooden flute could be disgusting!

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Re: Who is the most influential Irish fiddler???

I’m sure some of you have a friend or two whose party piece it is to play the tin whistle with their nose! Anyone on here going to admit to that (and then to playing it properly afterwards)?

Re: Who is the most influential Irish fiddler???

Hopefully they clean off the fipple first…

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