Folktrax-075: The Star of Donegal
[Non-commercial field recordings from Peter Kennedy’s archive available at www.folktrax.org: Folktrax & Soundpost Publ. 16 Brunswick Square, Gloucester GL1 1UG Tel +44 - (0)1452-415110 - firstname.lastname@example.org]
Recorded by Peter Kennedy in Donegal in 1953. Edited by Peter Kennedy and first published on Folktrax Cassettes 1975.
From the Liner Notes:
"Located by Sean O Boyle and Peter Kennedy in Donegal in 1952, JOHHNY DOHERTY was still leading the life of a pedlar, travelling a triangular route, from house to house, in the Blue Stack Mountains between Gweedore, Carrick, and Glen Finn. He had no fiddle of his own, but played upon those he found hanging uon the walls, of the houses he visited with his pedlar wares. His pack, wrapped in black oilskin sheeting, consisted of buttons, combs, pins, cotton thread and needles, as well as various small articles of ladies’ clothing. When he started playing, word would get around, and all the neighbors would gather at the house for a night of celidh-ing, and Johnny would be accomodated there for the night.
“For this recording, and when he was filmed by Peter Kennedy and Pete Seeger (THE IRISH FIDDLER, available on DVD from Folktrax), he played on Kennedy’s fiddle, to which he took a particular liking. When once located by the collectors, he recorded almost continuously, day and night, for a period of a whole week. When it was suggested to him that he should not record so much of his music for the two collectors at any one time, he reassured them, saying that he was anxious to record his complete reperatoire of Irish, Scots and English tunes for the understanding and enjoyment of future generations.”
Other Folktrax Recordings of John Doherty
These early recordings of John Doherty have excellent sound quality and compare very favorably to later commerically-released recordings.
Also available from Folktrax treasure-trove are FTX-073, The Flowers of Edinburgh (the earliest recordings of both John (1953, by Peter Kennedy) and Mickey Doherty (1951, by Alan Lomax); FTX-074, The Pedlar’s Pack, recordings of John Doherty from 1953; FTX 273 The Sailor’s Trip, John & Simie Doherty 1952-3; plus a film of John (THE IRISH FIDDLER), recordings of Mickey and Simie Doherty, recordings of John Doherty and Frank Cassidy, etc.
On the (digital) version of the album that I was given it suggests that “O’Halloran’s” equates to the reel “The Bank of Ireland”. It sounds more to me like a version of “Rakish Paddy”.