tunebook 28 tunes.
I grew up in the hills above the Ohio River in the US, in what they’re calling now “pre-Appalachia”. Early memories of my Dad playing songs like John Hardy, Jesse James, Boll Weevil, Cross-Eyed Sue on a Sears Silvertone acoustic guitar. I’ve still got that guitar, though the neck is warped — no truss rod — but the high action makes it perfect for bottleneck slide.
Played rocknroll and punk when I was in my teens, moved to rockabilly, then honkytonk, then a little bluegrass, then oldtimey. Maybe a bit like a salmon swimming upstream to the Source.
I started playing pub ballads from the Pogues, Dubliners and Clancy Brothers catalogs, many evenings sitting in a kitchen with a guitarist, a box player and a bottle of bourbon. Yo, shout out to Burke & Toomey (RIP my friend). Played mandolin, a bit of banjo and fiddle. Learned a fair few tunes from those guys, too — Tripping Up the Stairs, Connaughtman’s Rambles, Oró Sé Do Bheatha ‘bHaile, that kind of thing.
Found a wonderful fiddle mentor and a surrounding circle of talented and patient musicians who have taught me so much. Also learned a fair bit from the Crotty-Doran branch of Comhaltas, not to mention the disreputable lot at the Ancient Order of Hibernians Club in Detroit, Michigan.
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