The Moneymusk

By Hammy Hamilton

Added by Irina .

Seventeen comments

This is my favourite Flute album at the moment (just bought it recently). It’s a re-release of an older recording plus some new tracks. I really enjoy hearing Hammy play his own compositions "The Woodcock" and "The Kerfunten". He is joined by fiddler Connie Conell, concertina player Peadar O Riada and flute player Paul McGrattan on some of the tracks.

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I’ve heard a lot about Hammy but I’ve never had the pleasure of hearing him yet. I’ll have to pick up this recording, the tunes look good & I’ve heard nothing but good stuff about him so it sounds like a safe bet.

PS. Did Hammy write the "House on the Hill"? If so I’d get a kick out of it because a friend of mine said, "a flute player wouldn’t ever write a tune in A" I’d like to make him eat his words if so.

I don’t think he wrote "House on the Hill".The booklet gives "The Woodcock", "The Kerfunten" and "Sarah’s Reel" as Hammy Hamilton’s compositions and "The Torn Jacket" as Connie Conell’s. All the others are traditional. Sorry - but if I ever come across a tune in "A" that is written by a flute player I’ll let you know!

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Moneymusk

I just got my copy (bought it from the Knotted Chord, in Ireland). What a delightful CD! It’s already becoming one of my favourite flute CDs too. Hammy is a master of the unpretentious sound, very precise, with no showyness. The tracks where he plays with Paul McGrattan (another flute player) are amazing.

Erratum

As Glauber wrote there are some great flute duet tracks on this recording. But Hammy Hamilton made a serious mistake in the identification of a tune. The second tune on the track 5 is not "The House on the Hill" but actually "Miss Thornton’s." Why serious? Because Paul McGrattan recorded it as "The House on the Hill," and Norbeck transcribed it with that name! P. McGrattan’s album predates H. Hamilton’s, but P. McGrattan clearly states he learned it from H. Hamilton.

Joe Thoma’s composition

"The House Band" have Joe Thoma as composer of "The House On The Hill". Joe is a fiddle player who last I heard was living in Kenmare.
So it wasn’t composed by a flute player.

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Dear Miss Thornton, bless her…

I’d been avoiding this recording for several reasons, and I confess, some of them are silly, but have their reasons, justifications and proofs. Among these are -

* The number of compositions, including the self-composed, by Hammy Hamilton = 3 - not excessive

* That weird first track slapping a 32 bar barndance, "If There Weren’t Any Women in the World" together with a 16 bar highland fling, "Moneymusk" and calling them both highlands, and naming the CD after that one highland…

* Other silly problems with tune naming, aside from that mentioned already, including track 11…

* Not quite sure about his ways with the flute…

However, I finally worked past all that, in part from enjoying the recording "It’s no Secret" so ~
https://thesession.org/recordings/display/515
I broke down and saved up my pennies and recently purchased this CD. Once past track 1, and ignoring the little niggles, I found this thoroughly enjoyable and won’t be giving it away. I love it and it will be a repeated enjoyment for the ears… AND - I like all three of Hammy’s compositions too… 🙂

Track 11 - 2 polkas

a.) Pádraig O’Keeffe’s / John Clifford’s / Johnny O’Leary’s / John Brosnan’s -
https://thesession.org/tunes/4824

b.) Johnny O’Leary’s / The Brosna / The Newmarket / John Brosnan’s - all 3 parts - in the database twice:
https://thesession.org/tunes/3835/comments
https://thesession.org/tunes/4430

This set can also be found here:

"John Brosnan: The Cook in the Kitchen" - track 3
https://thesession.org/recordings/display/1279
"These two polkas came from Johnny O’Leary and Timmy O’Connor, two (button) accordion players from the Sliabh Luachra area." - John Brosnan

Track 8, Polkas

Track 8, three polkas currently listed here as:
Tureegarbh Glen [(to 0:42]
Gan Ainm [00:42 to 1:45]
I Have A Bonnet [1:45 to end]
So, as listed, the first two tunes don’t link to anything here (they were just listed as ‘polkas’ on my copy of the original cassette, which had twelve tracks, rather than the 18 on the later CD. The cassette’s undated but I probably got it in 1997 or earlier).
Anyway, if ‘Tureegarbh Glen’ had been written as ‘Tureengarbh Glen’, it would have linked to ‘Johnny I Do Miss You’, which is listed here (with various other alternative names) at https://thesession.org/tunes/2781
The second tune, here as ‘Gan Ainm’, is ‘Mrs Crowley’s’, see https://thesession.org/tunes/1833
Acknowledgements to Alan Ng’s www.irishtune.info for relevant info.

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Re: The Moneymusk

Sorry, probably not ‘Mrs Crowley’s’ there after all, and it starts at 0:55, not 0:42.
In G, it starts
BG G>A | BG G>B | AD AD|A>B cB|
Looks a bit more like The Other Clog https://thesession.org/tunes/4249
Shall listen/look again …

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Re: The Moneymusk

Maybe I’m beginning to see why Hammy Hamilton just called track A6 and B3 on the cassette ‘polkas’.
I had been referring to track 8 on the CD but now see the listing above for track 13 starts with ‘The Other Clog’ , but the linked tune starts BG G>A|BG GB|AD FG|AB c>A and is not the tune which starts the track on my cassette, which starts GB B/c/B/A/|GB BA/G/|FA DA|FA DA, and is here as the Knocknaboul https://thesession.org/tunes/3023
Wishing I never mentioned any of this in the first place - maybe someone else can clarify?

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Re: polkas on ’ The Moneymusk’, and Joan Crowley

Probably the regulars at the session at Crowley’s in Kenmare (https://thesession.org/sessions/2936) could say more. Joan Crowley (born 1922) passed away in January of this year (2017) and is credited with writing some of these polkas – any definitive articles or books anywhere?
Nice post from Vanishing Ireland at
https://www.facebook.com/permalink.php?story_fbid=1052644971451769&id=110498185666457
It’s taken from ‘The Irish Pub’ (Thames & Hudson, 2008) by Turtle Bunbury (writer) and James Fennell (photographer). This is an extract, but there’s much more:
“Crowley’s Bar on Henry Street, Kenmare, is rightly considered one of the finest traditional pubs in the Kingdom of Kerry. It was a vital sanctuary for Irish music when that genre became endangered in the 1960s and 1970s. ‘We were the first that I remember to have traditional music here’, says Mrs Crowley, who ran the bar with her late husband Con for many decades. ‘It used to be that nearly every house in the town was a pub then, but they didn’t have music. It wasn’t allowed in the old days. They didn’t want people singing in the pubs’.
But when rock n’ roll and ‘loud pop music’ began seducing the youth of Kerry, the Crowley’s were to the fore in the promotion of traditional music. It wasn’t all about the music, mind you. ‘I thought it was a great help for the business and it was a fine attraction for tourists’. By the 1980s, men and women were coming in from miles around to ‘sing songs and play a few tunes’ upon the Crowley’s chairs and stools. ‘They were real musicians- they’d hear a tune and pick it up’. A fiddle was kept behind the bar for anyone who wanted to have a go. And, if you were lucky, you might even hear the Crowley’s play. Con Crowley was highly accomplished on the accordion and his wife was as swift as an otter on the fiddle.
‘I haven’t opened it for a long time’, she says, fiddling with the clasps that hold her fiddle in its case. On account of two arthritic fingers, she laid her fiddle down some years ago. But the all-powerful omega oils have been at work on her bones, and now her fingers reach out for the bow. ‘I’m not a traditional musician at all’, she laughs. ‘I was taught how to read it’. In the early days she and Con often practiced together at home. That became trickier with the pub as one or other of them would always be working behind the bar. But some nights, the Crowleys would play the crowd. They followed the graceful Sliabh Luachra style, popularized by Kerry fiddlers such as Julia Clifford, her brother Denis Murphy and the mighty fiddle-master, Padraig O’Keefe.”

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