The "Greats" of Trad.

The "Greats" of Trad.

I’m doing an A-level Irish oral and we have to write a speech and I’m writing it about traditional msic. I wanted to do a paragraph on the champoins of this music, and those who were considered great at thier time and are still revered now. I’m taking it right back to O Carolan and moving on from there. I know that all instrument players have their own legends, such as Joe Burke for box players, and Johnny Doran/Willie Clancy for pipers, and I’m really interested to hear about the people you guys feel have had the most influence and contributed most to the music, even if they never became "famous" for it.
Hopefully I can learn a lot bout the origins and histroy of this music, and I’m looking forward to reading your responses.
Is mise le meas,
Cian

Re: The "Greats" of Trad.

"Greats" and "champions" and "legends" aren’t what it is about. It’s folk music, people’s music, your music, not somebody else’s.

A lot of the people involved in this music have a very sloppy and sentimental attitude, there’s nothing they like better than a good "revere", but it’s all horribly overinflated.

A list of names random people "revere" isn’t going to make a very interesting speech anyway.

Posted .

Re: The "Greats" of Trad.

Ditto. I don’t revere any above any other. The ‘greats’ would have nothing to play were it not for the ‘ordinary’ people. And I haven’t heard 99.999% of them, so it would be unfair to judge.

Posted by .

Re: The "Greats" of Trad.

I revere all those countless selfless geniuses wrote all those brilliant tunes and didn’t feel the need to attach their monikers to them

Posted .

Re: The "Greats" of Trad.

That’s going to be one long paragraph if you’re asking 65,000 people for their highlights of 300 years of music.

Re: The "Greats" of Trad.

A strange one this - I am sure every one
around Ireland knew a great, who was only know
local - He/she may have never made an Album, taught
friend’s for free, only played within his own area,
Never made any money, or world wide fame out of his music.
And,, many of the so Named Greats …
{ some you might find here at this link } =

http://www.rocheviolins.com/html/traditional_irish_music.html

Where themselves taught by such - Local Hero’s —
Or Unknown Greats, That I have
mentioned at the beginning of my comment .

jim,,,

Re: The "Greats" of Trad.

For the purposes of your assignment, it may be a good idea to look up the works of Breandán Breathnach and draw your own conclusions.

Re: The "Greats" of Trad.

Cian, you may want to consider researching some of the transplanted Irish musicians around the London area during the 30s, 40s, and 50s. Much of what we now deem an Irish session today, began with those immigrant workers and their musical gatherings. Also, spend some time researching the Irish immigrants in the New York area during the early teens and 20s. A huge library of early recording artists such as Morrison and McGann, etc, helped keep the tradition alive and speading throughout the early 20th century. Good luck.

Re: The "Greats" of Trad.

The Greats are the guys who made a name for themselves, who were recorded, the likes of Martin Hayes, Mick Maloney, Paddy Maloney of Chieftains fame and others who have spread the trad sound and made us proud of them. Groups like Planxty and the Bothy Band, all are legends and greats, it may be folk music but that tag disappears when played before thousands of people on stage, it then becomes a product that is being sold, just as much as a pint of Guinness.

Now turn that into a speech

Re: The "Greats" of Trad.

Shylock,

Not sure I agree with you. Being presented to a large audience, in itself, does not make it a victim of commercialism. The groups you mention don’t strike me particularly as pandering to a "pop" audience.

Their opportunity to play before large audiences came about primarily because they were around at a time when what they did became fashionable.

They should all be considered as greats however because they rose to the occasion when what they were doing suddenly became popular. In many ways these bands made the music accessible to hundreds of thousands of people that would otherwise not have had any exposure to it. Their activities could be seen as having secured the tradition for several more generations yet to come.

Before the music became fashionable, several branches of it were in danger of becoming extinct - like Irish harping did a couple of hundred years ago. In many ways we are still riding on the crest of that wave of popularity from the 1970’s / 80’s.

Re: The "Greats" of Trad.

Well said, ormepipes.

Re: The "Greats" of Trad.

taking the OP’s request in the spirit i believe it was meant, rather than as a request for a "best of" or for "the" best, or for "champions" in some kind of competitive or hierarchical sense, which i don’t believe the OP meant, here would be a fractional, non-definitive few players one might find it extremely rewarding to explore further as touchstones or signal contributors in this tradition—-
i’m not gonna fill in blanks for you, it’s all out there on google, youtube, and wonderful recordings….

junior crehan, west clare, fiddle, other instruments, composer
bobby casey, west clare, fiddle
joe cooley of east galway, accordion
margaret barry, singer and composer (Traveler)
johnn doran, piper (Traveler)
john kelly senior, dublin by way of clare, concertina/fiddle
his sons james and john kelly, fiddlers
peadar o’riada, musician and composer
peadar o’loughlin, county clare
mike rafferty, flutist, new jersey by way of east galway
charlie lennon, piano, fiddle, composer
paddy fahy, fiddle and composer, east galway
sean ryan RIP, fiddle and composer, tipperary
the late paddy o’brien, box and composer, tipperary

tony macmahon, county clare, accordionist, historian, bomb-thrower

there are also crucial players of kerry, a patch of ground re which i am woefully unqualified to weigh in….but the players on the recording "the star above the garter" would be a great place to start……

Re: The "Greats" of Trad.

When you get to bodhrans there is only one, true great……….

But to modest to say.

Re: The "Greats" of Trad.

Your real intials are JJK then?

Re: The "Greats" of Trad.

Your real intials are JJK then?

# Posted on December 18th 2010 by ian stock



Ian, as myself and Mr McGoldrick are fond of saying, if I had stayed in Manchester you would never have heard of JJK.

Well, he MIGHT be better on the mandolin than me, but it is close…………….

Re: The "Greats" of Trad.

Ned an Phiobaire—thatcher, Caherlistrane, Co. Galway…and all the workaday folk who did the day job and played a tune when the humour was on them..and when and where there there was no overblown adulation…..Here’s to you, Ned Reilly!