Live At Mona’s

By Patrick Ourceau

Eleven comments

The front of the CD shows a man sitting at the bar, and the back has a picture of two musicians (I now know they are Patrick Orceau and Eamon O’Leary) with the words “Traditional Irish Music from New York’s Lower East Side”. No real indication of who really plays on the CD, so I was initially hesitant to buy it (was being sold at the East Durham Irish Week) until I found out who the musicians were. Here’s the list:

Patrick Orceau (fiddle), Eamon O’Leary (guitar, banjo, vocals), Dana Lyn (fiddle), Cillian Vallely (uilleann pipes), Brendan Dolan (piano), Brian Holleran (flute), Tony Davoren (bouzouki), Ivan Goff (uillean pipes), Steve Johnson (vocals), Aidan Brennan (guitar, vocals), Susan McKeown (vocals), Mick Moloney (banjo), Chris Layer (flute), and Jeff Owens (vocals).

Having recently been exposed to the playing of many of those musicians at the Irish Arts Week, I bought the CD. Good purchase needless to say. Kind of follows in the tradition of previous live session recordings like the one done in Matt Molloy’s pub. Quality sound and editing, but retains the “live” element with pint glasses clattering in the background, a few subdued conversations, etc. Liner notes are also rather extensive and have fun pictures of the musicians.

Therefore, don’t be deceived by the rather nondescript packaging. This CD is well worth having and is available through


Pleased to see this recording posted - it found its way into my CD player on Friday and has only just been extracted now (to be relocated to a different CD player).

Loads of great tunes, and great versions of tunes - and yummy piping, including a nice set of tunes played in B. Yeeeoowwww.

Great liner notes, and the recording captured that same magic that Paddy in the Smoke has - I’ll go back and listen to this in 40 years and think, hey they were having themselves one hell of a good time, alllllllll right.

Err rather…

Just to head off the now-salivating anal retentive readers out there, what my brain meant was:

“…a nice set of tunes played by a man playing a flat set of pipes (a B set), and the fiddle player was tuned down to play along with him…”

End of an Era?

Great tunes and great playing. One of the best recordings of the music in years and a very timely recording. I was talking to fiddler Patrick Ourceau two weeks and he told me he was moving to Toronto. NYC’s loss is Toronto’s gain. With three more years of the worst-president-ever administration to go, it sounds like a good move. There are plenty of great musicians in NYC and I am sure the sessions will go on, but I cannot imagine a session at Mona’s without his wonderful fiddling.

Mountain Lark tuning

tuning the fiddle down one and half steps works pretty well for playing along with the B pipes on the Mountain Lark set:
E B F# C#

(or tune that bottom string to F# instead of E)

Fantastic CD!

“Live at Monas”

Love “Live at Monas”…one of the best, live session recordings and I believe the first live session recorded in NYC. It inspired me to seek out Patrick at Irish Arts Week in Durham to do his work shops. He will be there again this year! “Last call”…

Site is offline :(

I’ve heard tracks from this album on WGBH. Fantastic.

It’s not available in digital form, and has been down for a while. I’d be willing to buy it second-hand. Anyone willing to part with their CD?

Re: Live at Mona’s

Available on Bandcamp:

The line-up is:

Patrick Ourceau (fiddle)
EamonO’Leary (guitar/banjo/vocals)
Dana Lyn (fiddle)
Cillian Vallely (uilleann pipes)
Brendan Dolan (piano)
Brian Holleran (flute)
Tony Davoren (bouzouki)
Ivan Goff (uilleann pipes)
Steve Johnson (vocals)
Aidan Brennan (guitar/vocals)
Susan McKeown (vocals)
Mick Moloney (banjo)
Chris Layer (flute)
Jeff Owens (vocals)