Kieran Hanrahan: Tenor Banjo ~ All Ireland Fleadh 1977!

Kieran Hanrahan: Tenor Banjo ~ All Ireland Fleadh 1977!

This is a live recording, with a cheap Cassette Recorder, of Kieran Hanrahan playing his 4 tunes at the Over 18 Tenor Banjo competition, at the All Ireland Fleadh in Ennis in 1977.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SRn6ebyRq8Y


Having just taken up ye olde Banjo, my main reason for going to the Fleadh that year, was to hear & see the senior competition. Imagine my horror then, when I arrived at the large outbuilding where it was taking place, to be turned away at the door because the hall was full! Almost in tears I started walking around the building, hoping to perhaps find a window to at least be able to hear some of it. Coming round the gable end, the ground rose up & smack bang in the middle was a large window which was wide open, as it was a warm day, so I sat down, only feet from the judges & looked in & down on the whole competition. In fact, apart from the judges, I ended up having the best seat that day, because of course I was actually facing all the competitors, while everyone else inside the hall could only see their backs. … Talk about clouds & silver linings!

I hope you enjoy this little piece of Irish Tenor Banjo history. :-)

Were any other Session members there that day?

Cheers,
Dick

Re: Kieran Hanrahan: Tenor Banjo ~ All Ireland Fleadh 1977!

Fantastic stuff, Dick! Good man yerself…

Interesting to note the speed at which he played the jigs and Colonel Fraser’s. To those of us who mutter darkly about young people nowadays playing too fast - he certainly wasn’t holding back, was he? Whatever else they were short of in the 70s, they certainly weren’t short of triplets!

That’s made my day :)

m.d.

Re: Kieran Hanrahan: Tenor Banjo ~ All Ireland Fleadh 1977!

Thanks Dick— best from the USA… David

Re: Kieran Hanrahan: Tenor Banjo ~ All Ireland Fleadh 1977!

Yeah, triplets galore. And the playing didn’t sound rushed either. But he was out tune, wasn’t he? (Or is it the cassette responsible for the wobbly intonation?)

Re: Kieran Hanrahan: Tenor Banjo ~ All Ireland Fleadh 1977!

Nice stuff! Anybody want to list out the tune titles? (with links to the relevant listings in the tunes section)

Re: Kieran Hanrahan: Tenor Banjo ~ All Ireland Fleadh 1977!

To be honest Emmdee, a lot of the playing was actually quite plain that day, although some competitors did use quite a few triplets, but most were just straight triplets i.e. without the grace note in the middle & Kieran’s use of the latter certainly helped his playing to stand out, that day.

Jeff, I’m afraid you’ll need to blame the 40 year old Cassette Tape for the dodgy sounding tuning. Kieran himself was of course spot on, on the day. As for his speed, if you’d heard him ripping through the tunes with Maurice Lennon in front of the Old Ground, later that night, you’d know that he was only cruising in 2nd gear for the competition! :-D

Good idea Jeremy, but I’ll happily leave that job to one of the many tune experts here. ;-)

Cheers,
Dick

Re: Kieran Hanrahan: Tenor Banjo ~ All Ireland Fleadh 1977!

Thanks for posting that, Dick. And for the story! As for where I was that day - there’s no saying, but I was 12 years old, and 20+ years away from discovering Irish traditional music ;-)