mick hoy

mick hoy

Can someone tell me who the fiddler Mick Hoy is?

Re: mick hoy

Mick was a great musician in the Fermanagh tradition and as far as I know there’s a festival which takes place in Derrygonnelly in October in his honour. No doubt others here on the Yellow Board will be able to provide more information on this celebrated musician.

Re: mick hoy

"Hidden Fermanagh: Traditional Music and Song from County Fermanagh" ~ Book & 2 CDs
Fermanagh Traditional Music Society, 2003
Cyril Maguire / Transcriptions by Sharon Creasey
ISBN: 0-9546200-0-3

Mick Hoy ~ a lovely man who also happened to play the fiddle and who would be surprised at the fuss some people have made of him after his passing, me included…

Mick Hoy RIP ~ LISTSERV 15.5 - IRTRAD-L Archives Date: Tue, 13 June 2000

From: claddagh <[log in to unmask]>

Sean Corcoran asked me to pass on this note on Mick Hoy who died last night. Sean has given the essential facts about Mick’s life, but I’d like to add that he was also an immensely funny man with a wisdom that was based on the traditions of his home area. In fact Mick personified the folklore of Fermanagh. He will be buried tomorrow in Derrygonnelly.

MICK HOY, Fermanagh fiddler, who died on Mon. June 12, 2000.

Mick Hoy, the great county Fermanagh fiddler, despite the fact that he spent all his life around his native area on the banks of Lower Lough Erne, had by the 1980s become a major influence internationally in the field of Irish music. His distinctly regional repertoire and style reached a worldwide audience as he passed his music on to players like Cathal McConnell, Altan, Seamus Quinn, Ben Lennon, Jim McGrath and many more.

One of the finest fiddlers of his generation, his powerful style was a fascinating blend of Northern and Southern elements. He had a unique stock of local tunes, many of which he got from his old friend, the great flute player Eddie Duffy, who died in 1986. He was also a fine singer, storyteller, wit and authority on the traditions of his area. His singing style was subtle with a beautiful use of glottal stops and ingenious variation in phrasing. He was renowned for his slow airs on the fiddle, which he accomplished by playing in exactly the same style as he sang, with memorable effect. Many of his songs and tunes came from his mother who played the accordeon. In his youth he hired at the fair of Derrygonnelly to a farmer who was a fiddler with the understanding that, as part of his contract, he would be taught the instrument. He played in the 30s and 40s with loacl céilí bands The Silees and The Knockmore.

His music, singing and storytelling can be heard on the casstte and booklet pack HERE IS A HEALTH (Arts Council of Northern Ireland, 1986) edited by Seán Corcoran from his own collection. It’s available from ULSTERSONGS


The text of the booklet isavailable online on the MUSICAL TRADITIONS site
http://web.ukonline.co.uk/mustrad/articles/health.htm ~ (no longer an active link)

Seán Corcoran, 13 June, 2000
Finbar Boyle

Re: mick hoy

I can see that you had a rich and wonderful friendship with Mick.
Where did he live and play? I take it that you live in England.

My question stems from having just learned the so-called foxtrot "The Fiddler Mick Hoy" composed by Jim McGrath, from the new CD Rossinver Braes recently launched by my dear friend and teacher Ben Lennon, .

( BTW, the link to the Wikipedia article seems not to work.)

Many thanks for this reply and your many other valuable contributions to this board,

Re: mick hoy

Weird, I was just answering you when this page went "Poof!" I’ll try and shorten what was becoming a bit of a reminiscent ramble and come back and paste it in, hopefully…

Re: mick hoy

My time with Mick and Eddie was too short, but priceless…

Re: Mick Hoy

I’ve tested the Wiki, it works, but there’s not a lot there. Hopefully, as such things go, it will expand in time…

Re: Mick Hoy

Believe it or not, this is the condensed version of what went "Poof!" 😉

"~ the so-called foxtrot "The Fiddler Mick Hoy" composed by Jim McGrath, from the new CD Rossinver Braes recently launched by my dear friend and teacher Ben Lennon." ~ fiddlercjp

Lucky you. Mick played a number of two-steps and would have appreciated a foxtrot named after him. He was no purist, being a lover of music in the wider sense, but with his likes and dislikes like we all have…

My time with Mick Hoy was too little, but I value it highly. He treated you like family, with a warm welcome. At the times, to some folks, he was not as well thought of, almost a laugh, and there were those that used to say disparaging things about Mick’s wide interest in different forms, his openness as far as the music was concerned. He played, as he put it, a lot of Morrison and Coleman stuff, and other popular tunes of the times. He was an excellent air player, and that followed his singing. He learned many tunes off the radio ~ from the likes of Matt Molloy, Jim and John Kelly ~ Radio na Gaeltacht…

We played mostly in the house, in Eddie Duffy’s, with a sink full of flute parts, and in Mick’s, but there was a wee pub a few miles away that we’d walk to, no more than a utility room on a farmhouse, a bench along one wall, a table with a few chairs where we’d sit, and a bar no wider than I can reach either side of me. That’s at least what is coming to mind. The only noise was us, the music or chatting and laughing. At most there were just the three of us, but more usually just we two. This is in the 70s and early 80s.

Here’s a little quote from the man regarding the old dances ~ "- then the one-step came in, the jiving, and killed the dancing ~ It was outlawed sometimes, in certain halls about 50 years ago…also called jazzing ~ not this ~ only highlands, barndances and Irish…" (& sets) This was as he was teaching me some dances, a highland, a military two-step, a Jenny Lind, etc. ~ I was the ‘girl’…

Mick’s house had open fields all around it, and there were the flax ponds, where they’d soak the flax for eventually making linen. He wasn’t far from the Lough, where he kept a line and otter, for illegally fishing eel, something we also did together. On one trip we saw out on an island a huge luxury boat and some daft bastards with a hammer knocking bits off an old Celtic cross. I won’t tell you what the two of us shouted at them. As some will know, there are some daft things that cause me to lose it…

So, Mick, good food, good company, good music, and made to feel like I was family and valued. I couldn’t want more. I will say this, ‘reels’ did not dominate, and I let Mick and Eddie do the directing as far as what we played, which included a lot of old tunes, which maybe I was responsible for in part. They knew I didn’t judge them or expect them to play what was currently in fad by the media, recordings and the radio. They could lay that out too, but mostly we played what they wanted, and in my presence there was no limit on it coming from me. I was in full appreciation of what they had to offer, on all counts. Going to stay in Fermanagh was like coming home. It just felt right for my character and soul…especially with Mick present… I was as happy as a pig in muck, as some might say…

I often wish I’d had the money to have all the gear to record everything, but then, I suspect, things would have been different. Cameras and microphones have a tendency to change things, though some handle them well and can seem to make them insignificant, to disappear. I wish I had shorthand to record it all down word for word, but then I would be putting my attention elsewhere, like musicians who are stuck on dots, that would have been inconsiderate of the others present, and the chat and music, the craic…

I accept the neglect of not doing the best job of recording it all down ~ I was just so glad to ‘be there’, to be part of it, to be caught up in it all ~ amongst friends who shared a lot in common, not just the music…

By ‘neglect’ do I mean ‘selfishness’… 😏

‘Neglect’ is something I have been guilty of in the past, making excuses for distractions that can sometimes pull me away from felt repsonsibility, including to those like Mick, where I’ve had the pleasure of their company, humour, wisdom and music. I need to get back to playing the tunes they’ve shared with me…and dancing the dances too…

Re: mick hoy

Thank you for these wonderful reminiscences- you have certainly conveyed the spirit of what it was like to be there, listening, playing, dancing, and poaching…
It seems like every month we lose another of these true souls of Irish traditional culture. I hope you get to listen to Ben’s rendition of "The Fiddler Mick Hoy". It’s magical, and a great example of the uselessness of the dots, which do nothing to convey it.

Re: mick hoy

Do you mean ~ "Jim McGrath: Melodious Accord"

All tracks are his compositions &

5.) "The Fiddler Mick Hoy"

I haven’t managed to find anything on a CD called "Rossinver Braes", though I understand that is the name for another of his compositions…?

I look forward to the listen…

Re: mick hoy

On second thought fiddlecjp, I’m wondering if naming a foxtrot after Mick was tongue-in-cheek, as that was one form he wasn’t fond of, what he and others referred to as ‘jazzin’, and which he blamed in part for pushing out the old music and dances. (~ see above!) Curious…

Re: mick hoy

As far as I recall there are plenty of stories about the Belfast boys’ visits to Derrygonnelly in the 1970s in Ciaran Carson’s ‘Last Night’s Fun’, with Mick Hoy and Eddie Duffy being the objects of their quest.

The Belfast boys were Carson himself, Gary Hastings, Desi Wilkinson and one other whose name currently escapes me.

Posted by .

Re: mick hoy

Yes, others valued Mick & Eddie as well, with
Cathal McConnell being a regular visitor, and other folks in that camp with Carson, Hastings and Wilkinson… Mick often got rides to events with some of his visitors, to fleadhs and sessions elsewhere as an example…

And sometimes he’d make his way to Eniskillen, where we at least once attended a larger session together…

Cathal McConnell was in town at that time…

‘larger’ was still not huge, at most 8 to 10 musicians present…

Re: mick hoy

Rossinver Braes is the name of a hornpipe written by Ben’s little brother Charlie Lennon. Ben lives in Rossinver, and he says that the braes are a set of hills which rise like steps, and so the tune has passages that do the same.
The CD with that title has Ben accompanied by Limerick concertina player Tony O’Connell. It is put out by Clo Iar-Chonnachta, and so I assume you can get it from the CIC site. I picked it up at the Willy Clancy wine and cheese CD launch, a remarkable annual event which crushes the greatest names in ITM and their fans together in a solid mass of tipsy humanity.

The tune "Mick Hoy" (yes, from Melodious Accord") is certainly not a foxtrot, and even has extra measures ala Tommy Potts, so you are probably right, Ceolachan, that there was some tongue-in-cheek involved. But as I said before, Ben’s rendition at least is pure love.

The tune which is paired with "Mick Hoy" on Ben’s CD is called "Ben’s Arrival". Actually, that tune was renamed for the CD. Originally, it was just "Ben Lennon’s Barn Dance". It is lovely on the CD, but far lovelier when Ben plays it alone with all his nuances intact, which is why I hesitate to put up the ABC for that one.

"Ben’s Arrival" was originally a jig Ben wrote on the arrival of his grandson. I posted that and a jig he wrote to pair with it called "Sally Lennon" in 2006.

Re: mick hoy

Sounds like a must hear… I’ll have to see if I can chase it up, or get my lovely wife to consider it on the list with others for my upcoming birthday and the following Christmas… Thanks for the tempting descriptions…

You should add your lovely appreciations to the comments for the recordings. It would be nice for the musician in question to know his efforts are appreciated…

I’m sorry I missed the wine and cheese party…

Re: mick hoy

Duh! ~ I guess I was confused in my searching. It is on site here too ~

"Ben Lennon And Tony O’Connell: Rossinver Braes"

It seems I was searching for the composer’s take on it, thinking the title "Rossinver Braes" was his too… It was probably late… 😏

Re: mick hoy

I’ve just chased up fragments to listen to ~ I LOVE IT!!! Thanks for directing my ears that way, it’s lovely, just as you said. The tune isn’t a foxtrot but sounds more like a reflective piece, but could work also as a waltz if taken that direction. It’s a lovely piece too… I like Ben’s playing, and Tony O’Connell’s tina too… It’s a big list, my wants as far as recordings, so I’m going to have to bump this up with the must haves…

Re: mick hoy

Since my birthday is next month, and I pass my husband a similar set of ‘hints’ around this time of year, I’d be curious to know what some of the other "must haves" on your list are? (Maybe this is a new thread)

Re: mick hoy

Most of them we have…

One I recently highly recommended to students is "Josie McDermott: Darby’s Farewell"… If you email me with an idea of your particular likes, I could easily throw together a list for you, and gladly…and I’d keep is small… 😉

Others include the recent rerelease and expansion done by Free Reed, "The Clare Set" in particular, a box set. We have all the albums, but this is them with added extras… It’s a beauty…