A Touch Of Clare

By Kitty Hayes

Thirteen comments

…Traditional Irish Concertina Playing.

Released on the Clachan Music label. Available from Custy’s Music at http://www.custysmusic.com.

I bought this CD knowing nothing about Kitty really. Judging from the label, I just sensed that it was worth buying, and I haven’t been disappointed.

Summary from the liner notes: Kitty was born in Faha, near Moy, Lahinch. She learned the music from her father, a concertina player who used to play with people like Willie Clancy’s father. She also spent a bit of time playing with Junior Crehan. After a hiatus from music to raise seven kids, she returned to playing later in life after her son and husband’s death.

This CD was recorded in a kitchen in Ennis, and so you get the fun little quirks like Kitty’s grandson making happy gurgling noises at the start of track 10. Overall, this is a nice laid back recording. Nothing over the top in terms of playing or production. Just really solid music played as it should be played.

Min Gates, Laura Fedderson and I had the joy of playing with Kitty Hayes and Eoin O‘Neill in a session in Ennis in ’04. She’s a grand lady and a wonderful player.

Eoin told us that ’“the best recordings made in Ireland today are made in kitchens!” and this one shows that he’s right!


a note about the reel “St Patrick’s Night,” in the first track of this lovely cd:

i am learning the tunes on this track just now, and having fallen hard for this reel, have been investigating its genealogy and curious about standard-key, or original-key, renditions for comparision, since kitty seems to play many of her tunes flatter, in C or F, which to me is part of the allure of her music….what i have found is that the tune is a composition by Paddy O‘Brien RIP of Tipperary, and that lovely renditions exist on Mary Rafferty’s solo Cd, Hand-Me-Downs, and also on the lovely fiddle CD by PO’B’s daughter Eileen O‘Brien titled “Newtown Bridge.” The tune is also listed on the cassette by Willy Fogarty and Eileen O’Brien titled “Compositions of Paddy O’Brien.”

Unfortunately, because an alternate title of “Byrne’s,” is listed on this site’s notes for this tune, the great majority of recordings listed as containing this tune do not in fact contain this tune, but instead contain Byrne’s, the hornpipe. It also shouldn’t be confused with the jig titled “Knights of St. Patrick.” So, I am learning it in Kitty’s lower key, which is really cool-sounding, and will also work on the standard version too…..love this tune. That’s all folks, another happy adventure in the Coolest Music Ever.

Track 3: “Jackie Daly’s”

Also known as Linnane’s, The Boys Of Tanderagee, Boys Of Tandernagee, Boys Of Tandragee, The Boys Of Tandragee, Hennessey’s, Pat Burke’s, The Riollicking Boys Of Tandaragee, The Rollicking Boys Around Tandaragee, Rollicking Boys Around Tanderagee, The Rollicking Boys Around Tandragee, The Rollicking Boys Of Tandaragee, The Rollicking Boys Of Tandragee, Them Tandragee Boys Be Rollicking Now For Sure!.

Key signature: E Dorian
Submitted on January 30th 2003 by lazyhound.

“Kitty Hayes: A Touch Of Clare”

Kitty’s playing shines through despite the really dreadful accompaniment on some tracks. If it were just Kitty’s playing I could gladly sit through this uninterrupted, but the wierd twangy all over the place stuff in the background is really grating after a spell and I need to wash it out of my ears with something else now and then… Thank goodness for some tracks that just feature Kitty on her C tina, and that steady beat that is a feature of all tracks and I gather is a foot keeping time… The foot I can easily live with, but that ~ I hesitate using the word ‘accompaniment’, they are on an altogether different planet from Kitty…

Bless Kitty and damn the guitarist… 😛

A much better collaboration is found here, two friends making music together, and listening to one another:

“Kitty Hayes And Peter Laban: They’ll Be Good Yet”

Sorry, for those of you who prefer specifics, I know, it’s not technically a guitar, it’s a bouzouki ~ damn the twanger whatever setup of strings is being abused… This is, in my opinion, a case where it would be better in the hands of a Greek… 😛

There is no doubting there is knowledge and skill all round, but how you use it or abuse it is at question here, and the bozouki here, when it comes in, is an abuse to my ears. However, I have discovered an effective way around it, rush hour traffic on the motorway. In that situation I can gladly let the whole recording go and, with filtering out the traffic noise and chaos while focusing in on Kitty’s playing, the gross nouveau t-wang becomes incidental traffic noise…

The new with the old, the whimsical with the solidly grounded, the self inspired with the dance inspired, chalk with cheese ~ in this case it’s chalk grating across a slate board and detracting from my meal of something of substance, scrumptious and of nutritional value to my whole being, body and soul ~ so ~ Welsh rarebit all ’round Kitty, and a pot of tea, and no chalk with mine, pleeaase…

Other tunes in “Jackie Daly’s”?

The Boys of Taneragee is the first jig in the Jackie Daly’s set on track 3, A Touch Of Clare, by Kitty Hayes. Does anyone know the names of the other tunes in the set?

She played on a C/G Anglo mainly along the middle C row and in F and Dminor, Gminor, C, Aminor. Sh learned off her father so that style goes back a long way into the 19th C and the first or second concertina generation who adpated it to fiddle, flute and pipe tunes or Clarke’s tin whistles in the original C

I think C pipes were quite common and older players adapted the C/G to play in those keys up and down the rows. So C, F and Dminor are her commonest keys. Apparently she tried a G/D lachenal but didn’t get on with it. She’d have been better with a D/A which are not so common but you can tune up a C/G, an old 2 row would be best ‘sacrificed’ if you want to play her style but in D and G as is common now., she didn’t use the accidental row as far as i can see

She could have got a long way on a one row C anglo!

Tune title

Could it possibly be that the second tune in #11 is The Stack of Oats, a Junior Crehan composition? I don’t have the album so I’m not sure, but it would make some sense. There is theme of Stacks of (name your grain).

OK, no Stack of Kashi or Quinoa, I’ll admit.

Posted by .

Yes, Trice. The 2nd tune in track #11 is The Stack of Oats, as the track listing here says. The third hornpipe, however, is a mystery. It’s not in the Junior Crehan book published a few years back by his daughters Angela and Ita, though it’s quite similar to the reel Crehan’s Banbhs, which is in the book. Tunepal finds a transcription of the hornpipe in Bernie Stocks’ collection The Microphone Rambles, where it is called Junior Crehan’s.