Jim Devlin: any recordings?

Jim Devlin: any recordings?

The late Jim Devlin was a lovely fiddle player from Motherwell. He had an excellent style and obviously had studied Sean McGuire’s playing. I used to meet him at Girvan festival and he was an inspiration to me. He was a very modest man but was well ahead on the fiddle, playing in flat keys and such like, which hardly anybody could in those days. In fact one of my favourite memories of Jim was when he had become ensconced in a room with what is still a session rarity, a piano player, and loads of musicians attracted by the great music gradually filled the room and of course could not resist joining in, and, frankly, spoiling this rare treat. As the confused cacophany of sound built up around him, Jim suddenly, and I would say uncharacteristically, yelled "B flat" to the piano player, and away he soared on his own again, leaving the bewildered crowd sprawling in his wake. My question is, does anyone have or know of any recordings of this talented musician? (not for commercial purposes - I would just like to hear him again).

Re: Jim Devlin: any recordings?

Hi Nick, I don’t know if Jim ever recorded anything commercially, if he did I would certainly like a copy of it.

I did record him playing in a session (Newcastleton, Rothbury, not sure) he was playing Bonny Kate as I remember, I will have to search long and hard through my old cassette collection to find it, but find it I will.

Let you know when I do find it.

He was indeed one of the great fiddle players, in my eyes certainly, obviously yours as well. An unassuming man who enjoyed a tune and a pint.

Thanks for the post Nick, it has brought back many fond memories.

Re: Jim Devlin: any recordings?

Oh just remembered, Nigel Gelks will certainly have some recordings of him, I’ll give him a bell and let you know the outcome.

Re: Jim Devlin: any recordings?

Hey it will be fantastic if something turns up! Thanks for the effort. Do you remember, Jim and his wife used to turn up in their camper van, and she would sit in the session doing her knitting. What great characters.

Re: Jim Devlin: any recordings?

Thanks John J, yes Jelks.

Re: Jim Devlin: any recordings?

Yep, blue and white VW camper. Great characters as you say Nick, Is Margaret still about does anyone know?

Re: Jim Devlin: any recordings?

Rothbury, Newcastleton, Girvan and somewhere just East of Glasgow…can’t remember name…some beaut sessions. He had a fabulous version of "The Moving Cloud" in F, and also a great "Wise Maid" aka "Pinch of Snuff" / "Four Seasons".

Don’t know of any recordings though.

Brian x

Re: Jim Devlin: any recordings?

Is there a place called Ranglan Hall? That seems to ring a bell.

Also, just rmembered he had a lovely F setting of a reel often in G, "The Plough in the Stars".

Brianx

Re: Jim Devlin: any recordings?

I’ll have a look at that one. Another of his F tunes was "The Newcastle Hornpipe" and he had a great version of "The Pigeon on the Gate" that he put in a flat key, I think he used B flat; and he played "The Banks Hornpipe" very well too.

Re: Jim Devlin: any recordings?

I remember Jim Devlin from Keith folk festival in early 80s. I had a few cuppas at his campervan and I seem to remember being showed an LP with him on it, can’t remember whether it was all him though.

One night , or was it afternoon, we were in … erm the Central (?) Hotel, …. and Aly BAin, who had been stalking Jim since he heard he was there, showed up bleezin and proceeded to play head-to head with Jim as they swapped tunes and settings. AB was leaning forward a bit and as he was well p*ssd was staggering forward all the time which meant that Jim, who was hardly drinking if at all, had to keep moving backwards, so it made quite a sights as AB pursued JD around the room.

There were a lot of great musicians there that day but I was a bit of a festival virgin and was so overwhelmed that I practically gave up for ten years or so!

JD wasa lovely bloke with a lovely sound and I often wondered about him as not many up here seemed to have heard of him - thanks for bringing him up in this thread.

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Re: Jim Devlin: any recordings?

I’ve just discovered some recordings of Jim Devlin in the British Library Sound Archive, accessible through their website. They are in the section titled ‘Traditional Music in England’ (which contains many recordings of Irish music, not necessarily recorded in England). http://sounds.bl.uk/World-and-traditional-music/Traditional-music-in-England Click on the ‘Performer’ tab, and you’ll find the recordings sorted alphabetically.