The Celtic Fiddle Of Liz Knowles

By Liz Knowles

Four comments

This disc has been a favourite around my house for a number of years. Liz Knowles has a gorgeous sound and great style - she was trained as a classical violinist before discovering Irish music.

track notes

1) The Kinyons (Kinyon’s Jig, Kinyon’s Reel)
LK, fiddle; Chris Cunningham, guitar; Randy Crafton, dun - dun, riqq & jembe.
composed Liz Knowles (arrangement by LK & Chris Cunningham).
I wrote these two tunes in the "wee hours" of the morning in Japan, having still not gotten over the jet lag. I named them after my grandmother, whose maiden name is Kinyon, and who continues to support and encourage me through everything.

2) The Gift of Falling
LK, fiddle; Des Moore, guitar; Joanie Madden, whistles; Michelle Kinney, cello.
composed Liz Knowles (arrangement LK & Des Moore).
Last summer, I broke my collarbone in a horseback riding accident. It was the first time in my life that I couldn’t play the violin, yet as painful as it was physically and emotionally, it turned out to be a gift in many ways. (At least I got a tune out of it!)
Special thanks to Des Moore, a musician of the highest caliber.

3) The Crooked Road
LK, fiddle; Todd Reynolds, rhythm fiddles; Chris Cunningham, guitar; Randy Crafton, shaker, udu drum.
Traditional (arrangement by LK & Todd Reynolds).
The Crooked Road and Lord MacDonalds are two of those great seisiun tunes of which I never tire. Todd Reynolds and I have spent many years playing together in all kinds of settings. In teaching him The Crooked Road, we started jamming and came up with this
take on the tune. Todd has always been able to breathe new life into any kind of music and I am thrilled to have him on this track.

4) A Night at O’Neills
LK, fiddle; Brian Conway, fiddle; Joanie Madden, flute; Chris Cunningham, guitar; Randy Crafton, drums.
Traditional (arrangement by Brian Conway).
Brian Conway has been an incredible mentor and friend to me in learning the tunes. I have the utmost respect for his style and his knowledge. I asked him to come up w ith some tunes he would like to play and we put together this set: Lad O’Beirnes, and The Humors of Scariff.

5) Hardiman the Fiddler
LK, fiddle; Chris Cunningham, guitar; Steve Gorn, bansuri (Indian bamboo flute); Jerry O’Sullivan, penny whistle & Uillean pipes; Randy Crafton, frame drum & shaker.
Traditional (arrangement by LK, Chris Cunningham & Randy Crafton).
Hardiman the Fiddler is usually played in D major but I preferred it as a minor tune. I follow up with a beautifully simple slip jig called The Disused Railway (there must be another name!) and the powerful reel, The Man of Aran.

6) Jigs for John
LK, fiddle; John Whelan, box; Lindsey Horner, bass; Randy Crafton, dun - dun, shakers, sticks & congas.
composed Liz Knowles
I have had the pleasure of working with John Whelan for the last year and it has been a year of great tunes and many laughs. To me, he embodies the musician that plays from his soul. It was great fun to finally make him learn some tunes of mine.

7) Castle Kelly
LK, fiddl e; Colleen Donahue, Cittern; Chris Layer, flute.
Traditional (arrangement by LK & Colleen Donahue).
I believe that it is part of our responsibility as musicians to find out what each tune means to us and to make them our own. In exploring these tunes, Colleen Donahue and I found a lot of freedom in Castle Kelly as a slow reel in contrast to the Cup of Tea, whlch stays at reel speed. I tried these out at a gig with Chris Layer and his improvisation impressed me so much, I had to have him on the record.

8) Julia
LK, fiddle; Chris Cunningham, guitar, slide guitar, E - bow slide guitar & harmonium; Randy Crafton, djembouka.
Traditional (arrangement; LK, Chris Cunningham & Randy Crafton).
Julia Delaney is one of the first tunes I learned and still remains o
ne of my favorites. With the talents of Randy and Chris, we gave it a new twist. This one is for Eileen Ivers, whose playing continues to inspire me.

9) Laz
LK, fiddles; Omar Faruk Tekbelick, ney; Jerry O’Sullivan, Uillean pipes; Chris Cunningham, guitar; Lindsey Horner, bass; Randy Crafton, darbuka, riqq & shaker
Traditional (arrangement by LK & Randy Crafton).
This is a traditional tune for folk dancing, but not from Ireland. Randy introduced this tune to me as a possibility for the recording. Al though it is in seven, we turned parts of it into a jig (in 6). Omar Faruk Tekbelick lends credibility to the cross - over through his beautiful playing of the ney (Turkish flute). Special thanks to Jerry for braving the quarter tones! The session was a real cross cultural coming together of spirits.

10) My Darling Asleep
LK, fiddle; Sue Richards, harp.
Turlough O’Carolan, traditional (arrangement by LK & Sue Richards).
Dr. John Hart is a tune written by Turlough O’Carolan and was given to me by Sue Richards. She, ironically, got it from my good friend and band - mate Robin Bullock. Yes, Robin, she finally recorded it! We follow it up with two jigs, Knocknagow (the first part) and My Darling Asleep.

11) The Blacksmith
LK, fiddle; Eilis Egan, boxes; Tony Davoren, bouzouki; Chris Cunningham, guitar; Randy Crafton, drums.
Traditional (arrangement LK & Eilis Egan).
I got these three tunes from Eilis Egan, a tremendous box player and person. After much searchIng, we finally found the names. Special thanks to Tony Davoren for his bouzouki playing and the seisiuns on the road.

full sleeve notes