Traditional Irish Music From County Clare

By Micho Russell

Twelve comments

Traditional Irish Music from County Clare

Another great album from Micho. He plays flute on some tracks this time. I like listening to his different versions of tunes, in particular The Boy in the Gap.

Micho Russell

He had a pared-down, minimalist style of playing tunes on flute and whistle which, IMO, brought out their individuality very well. His singing voice was outlandish. Someone could make recordings of it into ringtones, practical jokes, burglar alarms and the like - it could go far!

Paddy,
is this an old album (yes for sure) - was it rereleased on CD?

The copyright goes to CELTIC MUSIC 1997 but the recordings would have been older than that because Micho died in 1994. I don’t really have much info for the recording dates but there is information given as to where the tunes where learned etc.

I would say it is a compilation of different recordings of Micho over the years as opposed to a deliberate album done all at once.

Great Stuff! Have it on my mp3 player.

I saw it posted on the mp3.celtic usenet newsgroup a year ago, ripped from the original vinyl, when I was first getting into whistle. The kind soul who posted it even included the liner notes, which I can’t seem to find. I think it’s vintage 1950s or 60s. I remember he stated "well, I started playing whistle at 15 and by age 30 I was making some progress" or words to that effect, which cheered me greatly at the time.

I’ve been working on "John in the Fog", since my name is John and I live in San Francisco (most of the time). What is that in Irish, anyway? I can’t figure out what he’s saying.

It’s wonderfully "funky". Micho Russel is to, say, Mary Bergin as John Lee Hooker is to Eric Clapton. I can appreciate Ms. Bergin’s virtuosity, certainly, but when I close my eyes and listen to Micho I can see myself walking a backroad on the Burren somewhere, and coming across an old-timer sitting on one of those stone fences just playing for his own amusement and nodding at me with eyes a-twinkle while I listen.

Well put buskerjohn. There is a real warmth in Micho Russell’s playing. His playing gives me a lot of confidence. I’m not a great tin whistle player but listening to Micho makes me work more on rhythm, phrasing and melodic variation. Ornamentation is a nice feature but I find a lot of more modern players can kill tunes with too much. Micho capture the heart of the tune. Keep at it buskerjohn.

By the way, Sean sa Cheo is the Irish for John in the Fog.

This album was originally released by Free Reed in 1976 and I’ve no idea how Celtic Music gained the rights to release it (or if it ever actually did).

Free Reed has recently reissued the album as ‘Traditional Country Music of County Clare’.

Posted by .

Micho Russell of Fishguard Lane ~

"The Russell Family Of Doolin, County Clare"
https://thesession.org/recordings/display/544

"Micho Russell: The Limestone Rock"
https://thesession.org/recordings/display/3087

"Micho Russell: The Man From Clare"
https://thesession.org/recordings/display/3088

"Micho Russell: Ireland’s Whistling Ambassador"
https://thesession.org/recordings/display.php/543

"The Totally Traditional Tin Whistle"
https://thesession.org/recordings/display/826


& courtesy of Roger Millington, some MP3s of Micho’s playing, along with other gems from his treasure trove ~

http://www.rogermillington.com/
http://www.rogermillington.com/siamsa/brosteve/
http://www.rogermillington.com/tunetoc/index.html

These recordings can be pretty bad, lost to echo / reverb ~ but with reasonable ears and attention you can listen past that for the music.

Respect to Roger Millington for creating and maintaining this lovely online resource…

Micho’s songs ~ a dozen, courtesy of The Clare Library & their resources

~ and bless them for it, & dear Tom too…

"Micho’s Dozen: Traditional Songs from the Repertoire of Micho Russell"
http://www.clarelibrary.ie/eolas/coclare/literature/michos_dozen/index.htm

‘Micho’s Dozen’ was published by the Ennistymon Festival of Traditional Singing. The notes accompanying the songs were written by Tom Munnelly.