Healy and Duffy
In response to a request from gian marco.
On the London "Topic" label, recorded in 1976. This would probably be regarded as pretty rough stuff these days, but I love hearing these older players, who played the tunes and kept them alive just for the sheer love of the music.
Some comments about the tunes and titles:
Track 2 - 3rd jig is the tune better known as "Coleman’s Cross" as recorded by the "Bothy Band". They call it "The Smash", but this recording is the only place I’ve ever heard that name , so I’ve changed it.
Track 4 - 2nd tune they have as "The Merry Blacksmith" but it is the variant played by Sligo players as "The Devils Of Dublin".
Track 6 - "The Montua". I think this is a mixture of 2 tunes. The 1st part is from "Maud Miller", and the 2nd part sounds as if it came from several tunes.
Track 9 - The Gold Ring is the jig in D, not the piping tune.
Track 10 - 2nd tune they have as "The Wild Irishman". I think it’s in the "Session" tune lists as "The Daisy Fields" which is the name I’ve always known it as, so I’ve changed it. The jury is out on this one.
Track 13 - I’ve listed the 1st jig as "Coppers And Brass", which is more common than their title "The Cavan Lasses".
Track 16 - 2 Martin Wynne’s reels - his "Greatest Hits"
Accompanist on this recording is Reg Hall on piano.
gian marco - if you’d like a photocopy of the sleeve notes, contact me through the site.
This is real old-time music from the south Sligo/east Mayo/north Roscommon area, played in a style that the younger generation have not kept going. Johnny Duffy is still alive and well, though not playing in public much. I had a nice chat with him in Finan’s in Charlestown last January.
Many of the tunes on the LP are straight from old recordings by Coleman or Killoran, though when the LP came out, many of the old 78 rpm tracks from those players were not available, so I picked up a good few Coleman and Killoran tunes from Duffy and Healy.
There are other tracks with fine, more obscure tunes. "The Montua," for example, is a great setting of the tune now commonly called "Maude Miller," but with more similarity to versions played in Cape Breton as "Dan Galbey’s" or in O’Neill’s Waifs & Strays as "Groves of Mt. Talbot." "The First Part of the Lancers" is a very cool jig, once played as part of a Lancers quadrille set that seems not to have been revived by the set dancing enthusiasts. "The Honeysuckle Hornpipe" is not played as often as it should be. I wish this disc would be reissued as a CD!