Reels in the slow lane ~ your recommendations wanted…

Reels in the slow lane ~ your recommendations wanted…

Always interested in alternate ways with things, which I may or may not like ~ but I have enjoyed the occassional reel taken as a slow piece, just enjoying the full air of the melody. I’ll only mention one as I want this open ended and filled up by the recommendations of others, and whatever other carry on might be generated. A tune I learned from the composer, Paddy Bawn O’Brien, and one we carried regularly and gently in a lovely small and intimate session in Dublin ~

"Poor But Happy at 53" by Paddy Bawn O’Brien
https://thesession.org/tunes/314

Please make your recommendations, recordings of slow reels, you love or hate, and specific reel melodies you think work well in the slow lane, and even your suggestions as to the ‘how to’ of it, or not, and if you hate the whole process, well, here’s a place to let your feelings be known, good or bad.

As usual, someone else asked me and I thought it would be nice to bring it before you lot and see what transpires… 😉

Re: Reels in the slow lane ~ your recommendations wanted…

Bank of Ireland.

Re: Reels in the slow lane ~ your recommendations wanted…

The Morning Thrush, especially as played by Matt Molloy on his "Shadows on Stone" album.

Re: Reels in the slow lane ~ your recommendations wanted…

Doonagore, Maids of Mitchelstown and Finbar Dwyer’s, in a set as played by Mícheál Ó Raghallaigh, on an album called "Port Na Coille".

Re: Reels in the slow lane ~ your recommendations wanted…

What an interesting coincidence, ceolachan, as just the other day I was mulling over this exact same question — but from an opposite perspective. In other words, "Why would someone ask what reels are good to play slowly?"

My reason for wondering is because I’ve been taking some tune classes lately, and the instructors play the tunes at a moderate tempo, and then slowly for us to learn by ear, and they all sound wonderful, even when played slowly.

May I ask your question in a different way? "What reels *must* be played fast to sound good?" Might that be a shorter list?

For the record, tho’, I think The Woman of the House sounds great played slowly.

All the best,

Re: Reels in the slow lane ~ your recommendations wanted…

Bird in the Bush and the Reel of Mullinavat.

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HI Ceol. Haven’t heard much from you on here lately. How about Julia Delaney? We play it slowly before breaking out into a faster tempo.

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There’s a very nice pair of reels, Palmer’s Gate/Glountane School, played slowly on the Sliabh Notes album "Gleanntan."

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Some of my mates play a lovely slow reel set with Teampall an Ghleantainn and that Paddy Fahy tune that sounds like Never was Piping so Gay but isn’t.

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I like ‘em. Dunmore Lasses. Toss the Feathers (the E dorian one), with rolls instead of trebles.

Autumn Child, as recorded by Lunasa.

Re: Reels in the slow lane ~ your recommendations wanted…

a really good tune works in any tempo, in my opinion.

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True browndog and Greg, but what are your favourites for this kind of treatment, either as recorded by others, or as you often find yourself playing, on your own or in the company of others?

Re: Reels in the slow lane ~ your recommendations wanted…

I’ve heard tell of this Californian band, maybe apocryphal, who used to rehearse everything at half speed. One festival they were followed on stage by some old-timey banjo-picking mountain man, who announced "I reckon you West-Coast dudes should smoke less of that Marry-jew-wanna, and drink more honest-to-God corn licker !" !

Re: Reels in the slow lane ~ your recommendations wanted…

Well said Greg - sometimes I’ll hear a reel played slowly that I’d have never even considered playing anyway else but briskly and it sounds fantastic. I know a friend who plays George White’s Favorite at a nice leisurely pace and it sounds lovely. The Holly Bush is nice and so is the Girl who Broke My Heart played "in the slow lane" - It’s all about the feel I guess - and the mood.

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The Johnstown reel, played slow, is a hit in my session.

Re: Reels in the slow lane ~ your recommendations wanted…

Just learnt Paddy Ryan’s Dream and like it slow and moody with plenty of ornamentation. Similarly, in my opinion, really like Providence Reel played slowly. (Never mind that I can only play them properly at a slow pace at the moment. 🙂 )

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Just remembered - I first heard Rakish Paddy played slow and prefer it that way to fast session pace. My teacher Gerry Diver plays it that way on his album.

Re: Reels in the slow lane ~ your recommendations wanted…

The Broken Pledge and Martin Whynns #2

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Wynne’s

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My mate really loves "Humours of Tullycrine" After session, last week, she told me when they played this one (back in the day) they called it "Dwyer’s Reel"
But then she has lived on the West coast all her life.

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Of course, played slow, this gets into the whole thing of swing… is it a slow reel, hornpipe, barndance … schottische?

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Re: Reels in the slow lane ~ your recommendations wanted…

I always considered that a hornpipe.

Re: Reels in the slow lane ~ your recommendations wanted…

there’s a number of others, but the first one to spring to mind (for me) is a fairly recent composition by the now Meath based London fiddler Kane O’Rourke’s ‘the kilkenny reel’ in D Major, not even on here yet, but a classic

it was inspired by the playing and mind set of John Bowe (a highly respected box player) and regular of the same named pub in South London

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Random_notes: I learned it from a CD (_Irish Coffee_ by Cady Finlayson) in which it’s definitely a slow reel, played at 60-65 bpm. I’ve heard a version similar to the one on this site, played as a fast reel, and I liked it far less, but that was at a session where every set felt like a race to the finish line, so.

Re: Reels in the slow lane ~ your recommendations wanted…

Liz Knowles plays a great slow version of Sergeant Early’s Dream. It sounds almost like a slow air.

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Re: Reels in the slow lane ~ your recommendations wanted…

Given the Matt Molloy slow reel treatment on the flute, The Flowing Tide - normally considered a hornpipe - would be lovely.

Most reels I imagine would work slow, but an awful lot depends on who’s playing them and how, and with what (if any) backing. When these are deficient, the result can be as listless and dispiriting as a dead worm.

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Oh my, what a lovely thread! Its like all the really beautiful tunes gathered in the one place … thank you "C" for such a lovely Sunday morning offering … beautiful! And I’d go for every single one of them … sigh!

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And how about speeding up airs, and turning them into jigs or reels? I can’t think of an example off the top of my head, but I have heard it done.
The old tunes are pretty powerful, and can withstand a lot of variation.

Re: Reels in the slow lane ~ your recommendations wanted…

the monday morning reel by phil cunningham sounds really good slow especially on clarsach

Re: Reels in the slow lane ~ your recommendations wanted…

Cooley’s

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Eddie Kelly’s

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recently put Torn Jacket w/ The Virginia at a moderate pace to good effect.

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Re: Reels in the slow lane ~ your recommendations wanted…

Two others that I like to play slowly are Elinor Kane and My Marianne.

Re: Reels in the slow lane ~ your recommendations wanted…

Well, then there was a famous recording of the Balleydesmond Polkas, Maurice Manly’s and Tom Billy’s (Gneevequilla), done as airs. At least that’s the rumor from our friend who taught them to us at a slow pace.

Re: Reels in the slow lane ~ your recommendations wanted…

"Raivlin Reel"

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Re: Reels in the slow lane ~ your recommendations wanted…

A few years ago, at the end of the Feakle Festival, I was playing some quiet tunes with a fiddler in Pepper’s. Owing to several days’ sleep deprivation (and possibly other factors), there was a tendency to take the tunes at a slower-than-average pace. In fact, contrary to the common tendency for tunes to speed up, we were starting them slow and then slowing them down some. I couldn’t possibly recall all the tunes we played, but one, which sticks in my memory for it’s ironic value, was that definitive speed showpiece, The Mason’s Apron.

So, if The Mason’s Apron can be played slow, then surely any tune can.

Re: Reels in the slow lane ~ your recommendations wanted…

Was driving along today and Paul McGrattan playing the Wind that Shakes the Barley slowly came up on shuffle and it was lovely.

🙂

Thanks all, and I’ve enjoyed the links, but aside from playing "Brenda Stubbert’s Reel at speed, I also like it slower than Cathy’s link gives it… Now I need to chase up all those other listens, including Paul McGratten’s "Wind that Shakes the Barley"…

Much appreciated ~ ‘c’

Re: Reels in the slow lane ~ your recommendations wanted…

One of the most memorable tunes I heard in my early exposure to ITM was, believe it or not, a slow version of Drowsy Maggie, played solo by a flute.

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Another one often played at a blistering pace that is outstanding slowed almost to air pace is the Morning Star.
After reading this thread it looks like MOST reels are appreciable slowed down.

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Hail Mr. C! Good to e-see you!

Pop and I like to play this one at a very gentle ‘Sunday-driving’ sort of speed, we sort of like it, hope you do to!

https://thesession.org/tunes/1784

Re: Reels in the slow lane ~ your recommendations wanted…

You’d really be hard pressed to find any reel that won’t respond well to the slowed down treatment.

But I do particularly enjoy slowing down the ones you may have a little contempt for. Contempt bred, of course, through familiarity.

The Wise Maid has oft been on of my faves to slow down.

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Re: Reels in the slow lane ~ your recommendations wanted…

SilverSpear has emailed me a correction ~ it wasn’t Paul McGrattan "playing the Wind that Shakes the Barley slowly", as mentioned above, it was Grey Larsen…

Slow Reels ~

A set of two slow reels played on flute by Grey Larsen, as first mentioned by Silver Spear above…

Grey Larsen Dot Com
http://www.greylarsen.com/

CD: "Grey Larsen & Paddy League: The Green House"
http://www.greylarsen.com/store/catalog/product_info.php?products_id=12

Here’s generosity, a full MP3 sample of the track ~

track 4: "The Wind That Shakes the Barley" / "Dusk Among the Willows"
http://www.greylarsen.com/store/catalog/download/samples/greenhouse_winddusk.mp3

Slow Reels ~ things that get missed in a rush…

I’ve not often met people who dislike things slow, such as the occassional relaxed set, but they are out there, and they can be quite outspoken in their disapproval. However, I’ve found that in every case I’ve come across, these vocal few, they couldn’t play worth a damn, and depended on speed to cover up that ~ as if… 😏

If you can’t play a melody slow, with conviction, heart and life, what the hell makes folks think they can carry it off any better at speed? Again, my experience is that they can’t. I don’t mean some kind of standardized accepted perfection, I mean just basics, giving a melody lift and interest and holding it together rhythmically, phrase-wise, and tempo-wise, and enjoying the craic in that…

It’s like the old joke about "my shight don’t stink!" Yeah, well, maybe racing through it takes your mind off the pong, but anyone with a half decent understanding will know if it’s shight, and if it is it will stink, like slurry slinging on a hot summer’s day. 😀

When I’ve taken a break and watched the early stages of things like X-factor and those Pop Idol relatives, I see a lot of similar folk thinking they’re something special, delusional, sad. We have them in our circle too, who make little effort to improve because they think they’re already there, wherever there is. That’s the key, they haven’t a clue. Any honest beginner has my sympathy and will easily be given time, but those that push themselves forward as having nothing new to learn and who think they know it all ~ nope! I can’t be bothered with such twits…

Hey, room for a new discussion, daft things heard from twits… 😉