Play It By Ear

By Dinny McLaughlin

  1. Failte Go Teach Dinny
    The Jinkin’ Mermaid
    The Reconciliation
  2. The Gally Canter
    Adam’s Apple
  3. Blind Mary
  4. Tá Me in nGrá le Máire
  5. Carraig Chaoin
  6. The Spring Of Peace
    The New Dawn
  7. An Raibh Tu Ar An gCarraig
  8. The Lady In The Garden
    The Clocking Hen
    Pretty Mrs. Morrison
  9. Angel Friends
  10. The Inishowen
  11. Ag Súil in nGrá
  12. Steps Across The River
    Ballymagan Fairies
    Play It By Ear
  13. White Harrow’s
    Fingers In Flight
  14. The Coolin
    The Friendly Visit
  15. Vision Of The Future

One comment

I truthfully had not heard of Dinny McLaughlin until this past weekend when he played in Philadelphia with Liz Doherty, but he is in fact widely hailed. Very solid player and extremely entertaining.

He comes from Shandrum, Buncrana in County Donegal and has taught thousands of people on fiddle, whistle, singing, dancing, and probably some other stuff too. This man does it all, and much of that is featured on this recording. Here, he plays fiddle, whistle, and piano. He also sings and recites poetry. Many of the songs and tunes were in fact written by him, and he’s written tons more than are on this recording.

Also featured on this CD are Steve Cooney (guitar), Ciaran Tourish (whistle), Mairead Ni Mhaonaigh (vocals), Dermot Byrne (accordion), Jane Hughes (cello), Tom Byrne (harmonica), Michael Gallinagh (guitar), and Frs. Charlie Keaney, Micko Porter, Joey Donnelly, Brian Brady, and Peter Deeney on vocals.

You can find more information and I suspect purchase his CD at He also made a recording in 1971 called "A Rake o’ Reels and a Clatter o’ Jigs", and two releases with the group Aileach, but I don’t know how widely available they are.

Liz Doherty has also written a book about him called "Dinny McLaughlin: From Barefoot Days: A Life of Music, Song, and Dance in Inishowen". It’s a wonderful 200+ page book that contains background information and pictures about Dinny, many of his compositions, poems, and recitations.

Definitely worth checking him out if you’re not familiar with him.