Rock on Tommy!
TOMMY POTTS – the only true Fiddling ‘GENIUS’ of Irish Traditional Music?
I caught a little bit of an interview of a Jazz Musician (Violinist) this afternoon, on Lyric FM, who described Tommy Potts as a true musical genius & the closest thing to Jazz that Irish Traditional Music has ever produced!
Now I know we hear a lot of talk of Jazz, when certain modern groups are talked about, but perhaps, if they’re going for a Jazzy sound they need to encorporate some of Tommy’s ‘licks’ in their music!
Tommy has been described as:
"In a class all by himself."
“Tommy Potts, heir to over a century of family music, was one of the most innovative and inventive Irish fiddlers. He constantly re-interpreted his music, extending its horizons until the tunes were created anew.”
… & Frankie Gavin said:
“ ….. the other player who most inspired me was the late Tommy Potts.
His mind was amazing and the way he played a tune was like nothing I’d heard before.
I showed up at his house once, and of course he didn’t know me from Adam.
But right out he asked if I wanted to hear a tune.
He set me down in his sitting room and went and got his fiddle and played for half and hour.
I cried the entire time because the music was so powerful and so emotive.
I can’t copy Tommy Potts, although I’d like to.
I think his musical brain was extraordinary."
& even our own ‘Mad Baloney’ here, said of him:
“Tommy Potts is one of those people who sits on that blurry line between genius & nut-job.”
So what do you think?
Was he the purest genius ITM has ever seen, or did he, in your opinion - ‘push the envelope’ just a little too far & was he in fact sitting so far ‘out the box’ that he clearly lost his way?
Has anyone here ever dared to mimic his playing?
Do you enjoy listening to his playing or do you prefer not to?