Tom McHale

Re: Tom McHale

Thanks for sharing this.

Re: Tom McHale

I’m so glad to finally hear Tom McHale’s playing! Lovely style…

I’ve been playing whistle around Athlone for the past couple of years now, and older folks regularly ask me if I ever heard Tom McHale who used to play around the town years ago. I keep asking locally if anyone has recordings of him and never had any luck.

Does anyone else out there have more recordings of him? I’d love to hear more…

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I’ve got the Outlet album, which I’ll put up on Ceol Álainn at some point.

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If you have a record player keep an eye out on ebay for his Outlet LP. I don’t think it ever made it to CD.
I have another friend who may have a recording of another Co Down session with Tom. If the quality is OK I may be able to add it to this wee archive.

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Cross post. Was hoping you would say that DR 🙂

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Don’t get your hopes up, it’s a dub from the most heavily worn LP I’ve ever heard, so the sound quality is appalling. I just had a listen now, and I remember why I didn’t post it before. It’s almost unbearable.

Re: Tom McHale

Actually, I just did a quick check, and it’s available to download, and in much better condition than the scratchy dub I’ve got:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Tom-McHaile/dp/B001GCJW1E

It’s obviously one of the albums that was re-released by the weird and wonderful company that bought the Outlet back catalogue (the ‘Celtic Souls’ box set is an absolute gem, for those who haven’t discovered it yet: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Celtic-Souls-Various-Artists/dp/B000GUK040).

‘Celtic Souls’

1.) "Seamus Tansey: Traditional Irish Music" ~ One of Ireland’s finest flautists

2.) "Finbarr Dwyer: Pure Traditional Irish Accordion Music"

3.) "John & James Kelly: Irish Traditional Fiddle Music" ~ a great album

4.) "Tara Folk: Folksongs of Ireland"

5.) "The Best of Irish Ceili Music" ~ Shaskeen, Eamon Ceannt, The Pride of Erin Ceili Band, etc…

6.) "Rince: Complete Irish Dancing Set" (alias "First Steps and Beyond"

7.) "Festival of Traditional Irish Music #1" ~ Roger Sherlock, The Sean Ryan Trio, Na Fili, Sean Maguire and Joe Burke, Brian Vallely, etc.

8.) "Festival of Traditional Irish Music #2" ~ more of the same, including Tom McHale, John Whelan, Finbarr Dwyer, Joe Burke, Kevin Loughlin, etc.

9.) "Cherish the Ladies" ~ Peg McGrath, Mary Mulholland, Kathleen Smyth

10.)"Armagh Pipers Club: Song of the Chanter"

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Thanks for the info and the tunes! I’m surprised I didn’t find that stuff myself if it’s on Amazon…

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There are two albums with Tom McHale tracks available on ITunes:
"Traditional Irish Sessions" (released 2006)
"The Best of Irish Traditional Music" (released 2009)

It’s always a pleasure hearing of "new" legends of Irish music.
Slainte!

The Tom McHale recording was also released as a cassette…

Re: Tom McHale

Lovely stuff!

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Funny how most people listen starting at the top, & fade out by the bottom: Ah, I heard one, they must all be the same! 😉

Will someone please tell me what he’s playing on tracks 3 & 6?

Re: Tom McHale

To clarify, I’m looking for names of tunes on 3 & 6 on the soundcloud link in the original post.

Re: Tom McHale

3 = Bonnie Kate

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Thanks Theirlandais. Always more to learn….

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Names added to the cloud. Anyone got any more (I’m useless at remembering tune names)?

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Re: Tom McHale

Track 7 is ‘Drops of Brandy’

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Track 1 is a set of tunes that I believe is known as ‘McKenna’s Reels’

Re: Tom McHale

McKenna’s they are but individually they are Colonel Rogers and The Happy Days of Youth

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Re: Tom McHale

Thanks for those names. I’ve updated Soundcloud.

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That’s interesting stuff, Pat - worth quoting this bit here which gives a good insight to the man..

"Remembering Tom McHale
I have enjoyed the site so much, you cannot imagine. It is -20 degrees outside in downtown Montreal. I was in Dublin for the ballad boom( ……. and)
For a very brief spell, I played in a raggle-taggle group called the Rebel Folk, and I believe it was our manager who started the Rebel Folk Club at Slatterys after we drifted off.

Tom McHale played tin whistle with us, and he was really a special character. He had, as far as I know, won the All Ireland whistle competition the year before. Anyway, his favourite prank was to go into Donoghues and do an imitation of Seamus Ennis on the whistle. Seamus had a particular sound when he played due to a bout of tuberculosis and Tom could imitate this to perfection, and also Seamus’s dry introductions to his tunes.

I remember one famous time Seamus arrived and sat down in his usual place to grace us with a few numbers. When he was about one third way into his repertoire, Tom showed up and began to play alongside him. Ennis was not too pleased, but in any event, he cranked up the complexity of the numbers to try and lose this young upstart. To no avail. Tom was really getting him rattled, and it turned into a real duel of the tin whistlers, until finally in the middle of one piece Tom matched Seamus note for note while playing the whistle through his nose. Seamus stormed out of the bar amidst the rousing cheers of the onlookers.

Those were wild days. A few years later Tom was killed in a car accident. A beautiful whistler. Just want to keep his name alive.

- Al"

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Tom McHale used to stay with the late Denis Calvert in North Down. At some stage in the late 60’s or early 70’s Denis sat down with Tom and recorded 43 solo tracks, apparently in one long session. The tape was lost from view for a few years, but just before he died, it was returned to Denis who gave it to me to transcribe. At last it is done and I have put the tracks on SoundCloud as a lasting tribute to Tom McHale and also the man with the foresight to make the recording.
I’m not good at remembering tune names so I would be grateful for suggestions of names and amendments to what’s already there.
http://soundcloud.com/deeor-1/sets/tom-mchale-house-recording/

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Re: Tom McHale

Thanks to "ceolachan" for pointing this out to me, as I’ve always been an admirer of Tom McHale’s playing. I can help with a few tune names so far :

Track 1 - "The Lady On The Island" is followed by "The Humours Of Westport".

Track 3 - "The Longford Tinker" is followed by "Sean Sa Ceo".

Track 8 - is 3 reels : "The Templehouse / The Fair-Haired Boy / The Enchanted Lady"

Track 10 - "Lament For Oliver Goldsmith" [ composed by Seamus Shannon ].

Track 11 - "The Little Heathy Hill"

Track 12 - "The Lone Bush" [ composed by Ed Reavy ].

Track 15 - "Josie McDermotts / McDonagh’s" These 2 reels were both recorded by Matt Molloy on his "black" album, which leads me to think the date of this recording of Tom McHale may be post 1975, although Tom McHale might well have got the tunes from a completely different source[s].

I’ll try to add any more titles I recognise as I work my way through the recording - many thanks, "deeor" for making it available.

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