The Red Wellies

By The Red Wellies

Eight comments

The Red Wellies

I have been playing Irish music for over thirty years and I have heard many times the argument that only the Irish can play REAL Irish music. This point of view overlooks the fact that Irish music has been in America for over 200 years and the Uilleann pipes have been here for most likely 150 years.

It is also disappointing to me that American Irish music lovers themselves will give in to nationalism and flock to see and praise really bad Irish players just as long as they are actually from Ireland, while ignoring very good Irish musicians from America.

This brings me to the “Red Wellies” a trio of fine Irish Traditional musicians operating out of Asheville, North Carolina. Fiddler Claudine Odell (her friends and family call her “Beanie”) is a highly respected Irish fiddle teacher and has studied with some of the greats, such as Tommy Peoples and Martin Hayes. Her young nephew, Duncan Wickel, plays fiddle and pipes. I first met Duncan when he was thirteen and he was playing the pipes with great maturity even at his young age; his fiddle playing was just as good. Now that he is grown, he is a superb traditional musician. Accompanying the fiddlers is a very fine Irish-born bouzouki player -- Vincent Fogarty. They are joined on some of the tunes by Aaron Olwell, a fantastic musician who plays flute and concertina.

Without going into a very detailed review let me say that this is the best fiddle duet CD since the Kane sisters’ “The Well Tempered Bow” and it is just as good: beautiful arrangements of great tunes, with fine technique and solid rhythm. In short, this is about as good as it gets.

My wife Cathy and I went to see them last night at their CD release party at Jack O’ The Woods in downtown Asheville. They were joined by Aaron Olwell, a fantastic musician who plays flute, concertina, fiddle…and who knows what else? The music was first class.

Here is their Email address:

Hear them on Myspace:

All the best,
Patrick Sky


I live in Ireland and I play regularly in sessions. This is a wonderful CD and comes as a total surprise. Beautiful playing on both common and uncommon tunes. I am delighted to have it in my iTunes.

Tune names

This is one of my all-time favorite CDs!

Like most CDs, there seems to be some unlisted tunes. There is an extra tune for Track 2 on this CD: after “The Spotted Dog” is “The Monk’s Jig”, just in case anyone was wondering.

“Altan’s Tune”

Also to note, the tune on Track 10 after The Floating Crowbar (listed as “Altan’s Tune”) is “Three Scones of Boxty”:

Re: The Red Wellies

One of my all time favorite fiddle cds. Love the pacing and arrangements, and the bouzouki backing.

Re: The Red Wellies

Chance discovery through the Tube and wow! Amazing stuff!