The Liffey Banks

By Tommy Potts

Nine comments

Tommy Potts

Tommy Potts is one of those people who sits on that blurry line between genius & nut-job. This album has been dementing my view of fiddle music for about 10 years now. These are all common tunes - but unless you’re familiar with this recording, you’ve probably never quite heard them played this way. Just fiddle - no backing, no one could back him anyway. For some Realaudio clips check out
This album is really a must have.

Going potty…

i was wondering when this one would appear!

yes,demented is n’t a bad description and it’s an album i dare n’t play too much at the moment unless prompted by various alchoholic stimulants etc…

as someone said,to play like this you must be really steeped in the tradition!
one to listen to,certainly- but i’m not so sure about learning tunes from this album;well,not for the likes of me anyway.
as brad says,a must have

Inclined to agree

He takes a bit of getting used to, but it’s hard to match his version of My Love is in America. It’s a sign of a master fiddler that he goes off on these ex-tempore variations with little regard to the standard phrasing of the tune, while still making it sound great.

Nut-job…I don’t think so. Genius - more than very likely. Inspiration: definitely. I have avoided listening to this recording and attempting to emulate it as I afear that I would be lost and not find my return. His settings are smoke-like and impossibly elusive. I think he will be regarded by future generations as the player who most retained his individuality when playing. After all, it was originally an individualistic artistic/religious/soulful expression afore coming twained inextricably with the dance.
Sadly the recordings of his art are few.
Rumour has it that one prominent fiddler has thoughts about recording a tribute in the same vein as “Cooley”.
This recording should bring joy and consternation to all fortunate enough to hear it.


The “Facarragh” on this album is not the hornpipe but the “Fergal O’Gara” Reel

Seamus Ennis’ sleeve notes are interesting, but where he talks about the keys that some of the tunes are in, he appears to be way off the mark. (I hesitate to question the opinions of such an expert, but I really can’t see how he could say that e.g. Star of Munster is usually in G major.)

Well, it is to a lot of fiddleplayers so Ennis’ remark is pretty much to the point.

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