best ‘modern’ tunes

best ‘modern’ tunes

I’m interested to hear others’ opinions on the best modern tunes. Sometimes on this site you see folksbemoaning the quality of new tunes. Here’s a challenge then, tell us which modern tunes - say in the last 30 years (is that too much time?) or 20 years, that you think are really great.
*Perhaps they perfectly fit into the tradition
*Maybe a tune you like does something a little different, but still regarded as fitting into a session without jarring (or something like that)

Tell us who discovered the tune and what it is about it that you particularly like.

Some that come to mind for me:

Muirrean’s Jig - Niall Vallely - an amazing tune, 4 parts, complex in some ways, so simple in others

Lizzy in the Lowground - Liz Caroll, a very funky tune - I think that Liz Caroll took ‘Billy’ and made her own version. Could be wrong on that, anyway a great tune.

Old maids of galway - another Liz Caroll tune, I like the way she puts a whole lot of swing into it.

Drive the golden spike - Brian McNeill. Probably my favourite hornpipe. It’s a bit different from lots of hornpipes - is that why I like it? Actually I do like lots of hornpipes, but this one just does something a little different..


I’d be interested to hear others’ thoughts - it will give me ideas of other great tunes to learn.

cheers

Re: best ‘modern’ tunes

I could list reems of Liz carrol tunes. She’s a bottomless pit of imagaination. Lost in the loop is a particularly good session tune.

Tommy Peoples’ Black Pat has to be one of the best new tunes.

And I have a soft spot for Charlie MacKerron’s tune, The 70th Year. I’m not generally a fan of a key change in the middle of a tune, but in this one it’s done so very smoothly.

Posted .

Re: best ‘modern’ tunes

I’ll second Lost in the Loop by Liz Carrol- one of my favorite tunes.

Re: best ‘modern’ tunes

I Also like Are you Ready Yet? by Tom Doorley of Danu.

Re: best ‘modern’ tunes

What do you mean by ‘best’

The term’s subjective, surely its a matter of personal opinion?

Re: best ‘modern’ tunes

"Are you Ready Yet? by Tom Doorley"

Isn’t that really just Major Harrison’s Fedora reinvented?

Re: best ‘modern’ tunes

Duh … that’s why he opes the post with, "I’m interested to hear others’ opinions."

Posted .

Re: best ‘modern’ tunes

Phantom, I learned them both the same week (weirdly) and definitely noticed their similarities, but at the same time found them to be distinctively different tunes.

Some of my favourite modern tunes:

The Ronan Boys — Liz Carroll.

The Leading Role — Liz Carroll

Wes and Maggie’s Ceili Croft — Leo McCann

The Dirty Bee — Ross Ainslie

Fionn’s — Charlie McKerron

High Drive — Gordon Duncan

The Famous Baravan — Gordon Duncan (you could have reams of Gordon Duncan tunes)

The Singing Stream — Niall and Cillian Vallely

The Salvation — Simon Bradley

Flagstone of Memories — Vincent Broderick

The Horse’s Tail — Zoe Conway (okay, I can’t play this, but it’s awesome)

Buntata’s Sgadan — Allan MacDonald

The Sleeping Tune — Gordon Duncan

Bye Awhile — Padraig Rynne

Trip to Pakistan — Niall Kenny

And some really awesome local tunes:

The Bum Note — Padraig O’Neill and Gillian Frame

Election 2006 — Anna Kintner

There’s Something about Kerry — Padraig O’Neill

Susan’s (I think? Ali, do you know for sure?) — Simon McKerrell

Re: best ‘modern’ tunes

‘Isn’t that really just Major Harrison’s Fedora reinvented’
Don’t know. I’ve always liked the tune. Liner notes from the first CD says that it was composed by Doorley.

Re: best ‘modern’ tunes

Yup, that one. Don’t know where I got it in my head that it’s name was Susan’s.

Jaysus, we do it a lot faster at the session. LOL.

Re: best ‘modern’ tunes

*its… grammar is overrated.

Re: best ‘modern’ tunes

SilverSpear, I say they’re more similar than different. I played the Fedora for many years before hearing Doorley’s tune and was immediately struck by the similarity. And they both even have 3 parts. But that happens a lot. Josephine Marsh wrote a tune named after her mom’s birthday that sounds like Touch Me if You Dare reinvented in F instead of G, but don’t get me wrong—I still play it and love it. As for Doorley’s tune; it’s hard to keep it out of the Fedora tune and vice versa.

Re: best ‘modern’ tunes

Aye, Phantom, but you know yourself there are lots of old tunes with similar issues. I’m perennially playing the Drunken Pigeon on the Landlady’s Gate, for instance, or Kissing Sean Reid Behind the Barrel. 🙂

Re: best ‘modern’ tunes

Yes. Simon wrote it as a slow air but Padraig likes to speed it up a little.

Re: best ‘modern’ tunes

A nice dark tune titled Larmor Plage written by Kate O’Brien can be heard on Deanta’s Ready for the storm, kicking off a set with Landsdowne Lass.

Larmor Plage seems to be a beach (plage) on the coast of Brittany.

Re: best ‘modern’ tunes

Liz Carrol’s Road to Recovery is a good session tune. Two guys play it at our session and I am learning it but can’t keep up, everyone else is either afraid or annoyed.

Re: best ‘modern’ tunes

L’ Armor Plage is indeed a beach in Brittany. It’s not far from Lorient. I tried to camp there one year. Went to have breakfast one morning and came back to find my tent had blown away. Luckily a windsurfer had spotted it and weighed it down with stones! Lovely place, when there’s not a storm brewing.

Re: best ‘modern’ tunes

Would Ed Reavy’s tunes be considered ‘modern’ at all? If so… anything by Ed Reavy.

Posted by .

Re: best ‘modern’ tunes

That’s a good question. At which point, if there even is one, does a tune cease being a "modern" tune and become an "old" tune?

Re: best ‘modern’ tunes

1977 - obvious really!

Re: best ‘modern’ tunes

I’m surprised no one has mentioned Dave Richardsons, ’ Caliope House ’ Bill Whelan dropped it from Riverdance when they found out it wasn’t traditional and had to pay royalties on it.

Dave H

Re: best ‘modern’ tunes

The title of this thread alone makes it ripe for degeneration into a slagging thread. Anyway, I’m far from an expert on recoreded ITM, but the OP makes an interesting point, because I find myself gravitating toward the older artists/groups/recordings all the time, perhaps in part because I just don’t have the time to delve into more recent recordings. Is there a lack of quality recordings of ITM in the last 20-30 years? I really don’t know. I love Patrick Street, and they didn’t form until the late 80’s. That’s within 20-30 years. Does that count? Then again, Andy Irvine, Kevin Burke, Jackie Daly, not exactly newer artists, just newer recordings. Not sure where they fit in in the topic.

Re: best ‘modern’ tunes

I hate Calliope House. There I have said it.

Re: best ‘modern’ tunes

Compared to Martin Wynne’s #2, I hate Calliope House.

Compared to The Kesh, I LOVE Calliope House.

😉

Re: best ‘modern’ tunes

Ok, I admit it is all a matter of degrees.

Re: best ‘modern’ tunes

in random order

Drive the Golden Spike (Brian McNeill)
Hamish Henderson’s Refusal (dto)
Splendid Isolation (Brendan McGlinchey)
Lawries (dto)
Wissahickon Drive (Liz Carroll)
Islay Rant (Charlie McKerron)
The Fyrish Reel (David Gordon)
Ormond Sound (Paddy O’Brien (or is he too old a geezer?))
anything by Ed Reavy
Black Pat’s (Tommy Peoples)
La Cosa Mulligan (dto)
The Quiet Glen (dto, both slow air & jig)
Feileacan na Fuascailte (Siobhan Peoples)
The Sweetness of Mary (Joan MacDonald Boes)
Mulhaire’s #9 (Martin Mulhaire)
Carmel Mahoney Mulhaire (dto)

Re: best ‘modern’ tunes

HA! You’re right though No Cause, it’s a bit of a nagging tune.

Did you ever come across that bizarre Missouri version of it where they play the B part first? They’ll all swear that you’re playing it wrong, too.

Re: best ‘modern’ tunes

Ok - I am not planning any trips to Missouri at present but if I ever do ‘cross the pond’ I will watch out for it.

Re: best ‘modern’ tunes

I have a confession to make to all you guys *sob*

I… actually… like… the Kesh Jig. *sob*

Re: best ‘modern’ tunes

@swfl fiddler, who are you calling bizarre? We like to think we are pretty cool in Missouri and are proud to have been the first to play C. House backwards……………..and in E, the original key.

Re: best ‘modern’ tunes

Since Ed Reavy has been mentioned, I’ll throw in The Way to Shercock. A mighty tune.

Re: best ‘modern’ tunes

lol rogfox

"…They’ll all swear that you’re playing it wrong, too…"

Re: best ‘modern’ tunes

"Hi my name is The Silver Spear and I like The Kesh."

"Hi The Silver Spear."

"Hi, my name is SWFL Fiddler, and I like John Ryan’s polka."

"OH MY GOD! KILL HIM WITH FIRE!"

Re: best ‘modern’ tunes

I’m not telling. Once a tune is pegged as *the* tune it gets overplayed.
the (not-so random) taciturn whistler

Posted by .

Re: best ‘modern’ tunes

It’s OK, Silver. It’s OK. Lots of us like The Kesh. No shame. Is the major qualification for "Best new tune," that it evokes lab rats in mazes? There are plenty of new tunes which can do that.

Re: best ‘modern’ tunes

Surprised no-one has even mentioned Josephine Keegan yet. Or Josie McDermott for that matter. Charlie Lennon. And so on.

Re: best ‘modern’ tunes

Come on lads… Farewell to Whalley Range!

Re: best ‘modern’ tunes

Thank you Pere! As I was reading through this discussion, I was thinking the very same.
Also by Mike McGoldrick, The Trip to Hervé’s: https://thesession.org/tunes/1026
Loophead Lighthouse, by Kevin Crawford: https://thesession.org/tunes/1026
The Donegal Lass, by Brian Finnegan: https://thesession.org/tunes/1497 (Brian has also written a ton of other awesome tunes, but this is probably the most played)
Paper Bird, by Diarmaid Moynihan: https://thesession.org/tunes/2510
The Roaring Barmaid, by Anthony Sullivan: https://thesession.org/tunes/91
Tolka Polka, by Dónal Lunny: https://thesession.org/tunes/1251


That’s a few awesome tunes to be getting on with. Maybe I’ll make a list of all the Scottish, Northumbrian, Breton, Canadian etc tunes later…

Re: best ‘modern’ tunes

coals to newcastle, but ‘Grainne’s Jig’, by TommyP.

Re: best ‘modern’ tunes

I think the title of this thread should have been: FAVORITE ‘modern’ tunes

Re: best ‘modern’ tunes

or FAVOURITE 😉

Re: best ‘modern’ tunes

I haven’t learned it yet, but I have always been partial to the reel by John McCusker called Frank’s Reel.

Re: best ‘modern’ tunes

Paddy Fahey’s still alive - put all of his tunes on the list

Re: best ‘modern’ tunes

I’m pretty Ptarmigan wrote a reel called " The Shadow". You can hear an mp3 on the Pay The Reckoning site. It’s well worth a listen.

Re: best ‘modern’ tunes

Add " sure"n the appropeiate place. Sorry!

Re: best ‘modern’ tunes

There are tons of great modern tunes, of all sorts and flavors, and coming from diverse locations around the world. Here are some of my favorites:

Mairéad Ní Mhaonaigh: The Red Crow
Samuel Ian Rothmar Burns: Spootiskerry
Jerry Holland: Brenda Stubbert’s
Joan MacDonald Boes: The Sweetness of Mary
Phil Cunningham: The Hut on Staffin Island
Gordon Duncan: Pressed for Time
John Harling: Dusty Windowsills

Posted by .

Re: best ‘modern’ tunes

He composed the jig and reel
The Full Set

Re: best ‘modern’ tunes

Modern tunes? Do you mean "recent" compositions?

Re: best ‘modern’ tunes

OK, here goes…

Scottish:
Superfly https://thesession.org/tunes/9942
The Rabbit https://thesession.org/tunes/9077
Road to Errogie https://thesession.org/tunes/5270
Frank’s Reel https://thesession.org/tunes/646
Ramnee Ceilidh https://thesession.org/tunes/2639
Rory Gallagher’s https://thesession.org/tunes/2526
Myra’s Jig https://thesession.org/tunes/4464

Northumbrian:
The Road to the North https://thesession.org/tunes/6889
Peter Man https://thesession.org/tunes/7809
The Flaming Drones https://thesession.org/tunes/7201
Dog Leap Stairs https://thesession.org/tunes/1240
Vänkärin Polska (okay, so it was adopted and named by the Finns, but it was originally Northumbrian!) https://thesession.org/tunes/7962
Balls to Hall https://thesession.org/tunes/6279

English:
Waiting For Janet https://thesession.org/tunes/3425
Horizonto https://thesession.org/tunes/6839
Tanteeka https://thesession.org/tunes/2904
Flatworld https://thesession.org/tunes/7859

Re: best ‘modern’ tunes

I also used to play Calliope House in E (the original key) and with the parts in the other order. I think twas the flute/whistle players that changed the key (for ease of playing), and also possible the order of parts(for sheer badness).

I still get confused when CH comes up in a session

- chris

Re: best ‘modern’ tunes

Miss Rowan Davies by Phil Cunningham is a lovely tune which shows that great music doesn’t have to be stuffed with notes. 🙂

Re: best ‘modern’ tunes

I’m another fan of Phil C.’s compositions. And Donald Shaw as well. It’s amazing what those guys can do with just a few notes.

I don’t know if they will become session favorites, but Shooglenifty has recorded a bunch of great tunes. Their first cd has several, but the later ones all have a couple of tunes that are really interesting.

Posted by .

Re: best ‘modern’ tunes

I too really like The Roaring Barmaid. Unfortunately it puts off any guitarist who tries to play along, due to the feeling of going from jig to slip jip in the second section.

Re: best ‘modern’ tunes

Most tunes by:
Gordon Duncan
Fred Morrison
Alan mMacDonald
Anna Massie
Mairearad Green
Ross Ainslie

Re: best ‘modern’ tunes

Does anyone have an ABC for Bye a While?

Posted by .