Welcome Here Again

By Martin Hayes And Dennis Cahill

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Twenty-one comments

New Martin Hayes/Dennis Cahill CD

Finally, a new CD from Martin Hayes and Dennis Cahill.

Lots of nice tunes. Cahill plays some very nice mandolin on some sets.

As would be expected, it is a great collection played at a relaxed pace.

Hayes and Cahill in performance


I was lucky to get to see these two perform with Alistair Fraser, Natalie Haas, and Bruce Molsky on Friday night. What a collection of talent! And the venue was outstanding - Strathmore Hall. It is huge, yet somehow welcoming, even intimate.


I’ve listened to this album several times now and I still enjoy the tunes, but some of the guitar work is beginning to annoy me a bit. It’s an odd sort of minimalist approach with lots of droning bass notes and little else. It’s almost like the guitar is trying so hard to stay out of the way of the fiddle that it winds up just getting in the way even more. I had a similar reaction to The Lonesome Touch.

The mandolin work is very tasteful and the small dose of harmony is a nice touch. The fiddling is great.

I’ll probably listen to the whole thing again on my evening commute.

Bad quality?

I downloaded the new cd from Amazon and the quality on some of tunes is terrible. Especially The Clare Reel. Has anyone else experienced this? Sounds like a bad live recording where the guitar overpowers the fiddle.

Bad Quality

I think this may have something to do with the way you have your sound set up: the sound on mine is excellent.

There are some great settings of tunes here. I love the way they play palmer’s gate. Its like a different tune.


Had a speaker problem.

The right tunes?

I’ve used the database to look out some of the great tunes on this album, but I’m disappointed… The Clare Reel played on the album is not the one that the link takes me to - nor is Coleman’s March the tune that’s linked to it. Any ideas where I can find the music for the ones on the recording? Thanks

New Martin Hayes/Dennis Cahill CD

A couple quick notes about this CD:
1) If you were to tune the violin down a full step it would sound terrible. After listing to this CD closer; my impression is that it was recorded at standard pitch +/- 10Hz and then digitally tuned down. Regardless, it sounds awesome.

2) 100% of the tunes are great, but as a whole, there are some that are quite closely related. This is something I didn’t hear so much of in his last albums. Reminds me of a Frankie Gavin Album with Alec Finn. But I just pick the best of and appreciate them either way.

3) Martin Hayes’ playing is slow for a reason in my opignion. Try to play fast and notice that all you have left is technique and your version of a tune (including slides, or cuts, etc…). In this case, you can make a tune speak your version of the message.

4) Guitar, either play or quit… Really getting annoying…

I give Martin a 95 (Style, Speed, Technique, Tunes)
I give Dennis a 60 (For being able to get relatively close chords in there AND/OR For how many times he plucked the strings per Track) - Sorry, but just really tired of this sound, there’s got to be another way!

Tuning down

‘If you were to tune the violin down a full step it would sound terrible’ says pacorfie

erm….I guess you don’t know the fact that it is quite common for fiddle players to tune down like this, there is a long tradition of tuning the fiddle down at least a full step, some even put it down as far as Bb to match Bb pipes and it can sound wonderful, just listen to Kitty Lie Over by Caoimhín O‘Raghallaigh and Mick O’Brien for evidence of this.

It is preposterous to suggest these tracks were not originally recorded at the pitches they are at, Martin uses viola on some of the tracks also which gives that lower sound.

Posted .

Yes, it sounds so awful when I get to play in B with my girlfriend or my good friends just a bit south of here. Really terrible. I mean, 1 step is terrible, so 1 and a half is just really quite indescribably bad.

Oh, wait… No, I have that completely backwards. In fact it sounds great! Better, in some ways, than standard pitch!

Track 1 The Clare reel


Some people have been wondering about what Martin Hayes meant when he says in the CD notes that he tuned the fiddle “down 2 STEPS” for some of the tracks. I had to use a Bb whistle to transcribe this, so I guess he means tuning down from “concert D” to Bb.

Sorting the Fahys out from the boys

Because Paddy Fahy has been so prolific in writing tunes, but not so keen on naming them, I thought it best to post to the album notes the one that Martin plays here.

X: 1
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
R: reel
BGBd cBcd|BGBd cAFA|BGBd cBcd|fgag fdcA|
BGBd cBcd|BGBd c/c/A F2|f/f/gag fdeg|fd (3fga gdgb|
g3 abga g|fddg ecce|g3 abga g|fdde =f3a|
g3 abga g|fddg ecce|fddg (3efe ag|fd (3fga g4|

I’ve never been a huge fan of Martin Hayes’ recordings. I’ve seen him and Dennis Cahill live once, and very much enjoyed the concert, and I have great respect for Martin Hayes, but his recordings have left me cold…until this one. Gorgeous music, beautifully and simply rendered (the kind of simplicity that’s possible after decades of reflection). And I think Cahill’s guitar playing, while minimalistic and unique, strikes just the, uh, right chord. And I love the single tunes. Sets are nice, too, but (to paraphrase Secondo from the movie Big Night) sometimes the tune likes to be alone.


These mighty players leave lots of space around the tunes to breathe and reflect. We could all use some (more) of that.

The High

It’s a jig, isn’t it? Not a reel.

I’ve wondered about Dennis’s role sometimes

He’s a better player than the recording demonstrates. But, as important as melody line is, rhythm is at the heart of Martin’s playing. I just saw Martin and Dennis perform and it’s clear that, other than some very nice short solos, Dennis’s role is rhythm. He’s an important part of setting up that rhythmic framework that Martin hangs the tunes on. It’s Martin who makes that beat that gets into your body, but I think it must be Dennis’s job to enhance it.

I love this album. Every time I play it my girlfriend asks who it is because she likes it, then realizes she asks that every time she hears it. ;p As per Cahill, he’s the ONE guitarist in Irish music whose style I like. Too often guitars sound like they’re in the way of the melody and are just distracting to me. I say this as a guitarist (I play fingerstyle American folk, swing and rock).

Re: Welcome Here Again

I’ve just added a transcription of Hayes & Cahill playing the version of “Coleman’s March”, as on this CD, so the link from here now has some meaning.
It’s a great tune to play even on my 2+half row D/G box. Goes down very well at sessions that I go to.