Toss The Feathers

By Ted Furey And Brendan Byrne

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Ted Furey & Brendan Byrne

Furey (fiddle, father of Finbar, George, and the rest of the brood) and Byrne (bodhran). Byrne’s bodhran style takes a bit of getting used to! On Outlet records (PTI CD 1020).

Ted Furey anecdote

Mike Ward an excellent Scottish fiddler, presumably then with the Tannahill weavers, was touring over in Ireland when he ended up one night at the home of the Fureys after a gig. He tells the story of getting up the next morning for a full on greasy spoon breakfast after which the old man Furey (Ted) asked Mike if he would play him a tune.

So Mike, being pretty shy about the whole thing, gets out his fiddle and plays something like the humours of lissadell, and, as he was playing, ted turns his back and buggers off out of the kitchen. Mike finishes off his set and wonders if ted was deeply unimpressed or something, but ted then walks back in and says something close to “b’geesus, if i didn’t know no better, I’d of sworn that was Martin Byrnes playing in my kitchen”.

Now Mike, having pretty much taught himself fiddle was especially fond of his Martin Byrnes LP, and so he takes this as quite a complement. However, ted didn’t mean it as such, and as he was walking away he says “you shouldn’t copy people, its no good… …you got to find your own style of playing, you know? got to find your own style”. And, having left the retorical question hanging, he left Mike with the rest of the Furey mob, and guess they probably played some more music…..

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