Traditional Fiddle Music From Donegal

By Frank Cassidy

  1. Tuam Na Farraige
  2. Down The Broom
  3. The Pinch Of Snuff
  4. Tiarna Muigh Eo
  5. Tiarna Muigh Eo
  6. The Wedding
  7. Bonnie Kate
  8. Crónáin Na Máthar
  9. Dark Loch Na Gar
  10. Séamus Ennis Recalls Meeting Frank Cassidy
  11. Cuffe Street
  12. The Pinch Of Snuff
  13. The Irish Washerwoman
  14. Introduction To Track 15 By Frank Cassidy
  15. Muineal A’Bhardail
  16. Myth Island
  17. Cuffe Street
  18. The Japanese
  19. Con Cassidy Talks About Frank Cassidy
  20. Beautiful Ohio
  21. The Lark On The Strand
  22. The Showman’s Fancy
    Gan Ainm
  23. Con Cassidy Speaks About Frank Cassidy
  24. The Blacksmith’s Fancy
  25. Rakish Paddy
  26. Dr. Mc Closkey Remembers Frank Cassidy
  27. Tirana Muigh Eo
  28. The Blackbird
  29. The Japanese
  30. The Mason’s Apron
  31. Myth Island
  32. Come Back To Erin
  33. Frank’s Greeting To His Sister Kate
  34. Bonnie Kate
  35. Crónáin Na Máthar

Seven comments

This is the latest album of Donegal fiddle music to be released by Cairdeas na bhFidiléirí (CNF 005; 2008) and comprises recordings by the Teelin/Teileann fiddler made over a number of years, as follows:

tracks 1-9 - recorded by Séamus Ennis for the BBC in 1953 (I’ll skip ‘recorded by’ in subsequent entries);

10 - RTÉ, 1975;

11-13 - Peter Kennedy and Seán Ó Baoighill (Seán O’Boyle) for the BBC in 1953;

14,16-18 & 33 - Louis E. Quinn in 1950;

15 - Máirtín Ó Cadhain and Pádraig Ó Baoighill in 1957;

19 & 23 - Ted Berry for RTÉ in 1967;

20-22 - Móinsíneoir Liam Mac an tSagairt in 1967;

24-25 - C. Ó Danachair and Séamus Ennis for RBÉ/Folklore Commission in 1946;

26 - Harry Bradshaw for RTÉ in 1992;

27-32 & 34-35 - Móinsíneoir Liam Mac an tSagairt in 1960.

Tracks 11-13 and 24-25 consist of duets with John Doherty and the latter form the earliest known recordings of both fiddlers.

Note that several tunes have been repeated and it’s more than interesting to compare the changes in Frank’s playing over the years.

I should have added that the Cassidy-Doherty duets represent some of the most vibrant, fiery and astounding music that you’ll ever hear.

“Frank Cassidy” ~ alas, not the missing reels :-( ~ but :-)

"Frank Cassidy: Níl gar ann!"
Traditional Fiddle Music From Donegal by Frank Cassidy
(and in duet with John Doherty)

http://www.donegalfiddlemusic.ie/
http://www.donegalfiddlemusic.ie/sound-8.htm

I’d heard he had a lot of great and unusual tunes, and some of these I did get to enjoy second hand, but, that is something this collection lacks, however, it is still blessed by offering us some fine examples of Frank Cassidy’s fiddling ~ 11 reels, 10 airs, 3 jigs, a couple of hornpipes and one waltz… I guess those lost recordings still haven’t been found, or were lost in the fire… But, this is still grand music and the duets with John Doherty are also priceless…

I hope someone started a discussion to flag this up for everyone…

Ceol,

My old tape of the 1946 recordings lists the following:

unidentified;
Merry Blacksmith;
Rakish Paddy;
The Exile;
The Pinch of Snuff;
Miss McLeod’s;
Cuffe Street;
unidentified set dance;
The Irish Washerwoman;
The Star of Hope;
and, The Dawn.

It’s ages since I’ve listened to it, but I’ll play it in the car and see if I can fill in the gaps.

Frank played the usual fare for the area, which included marches, waltzes, highland flings, mazurkas, varsoviennes, polkas, strathspeys. People kept singing his praises and that is when I heard about a long recording session he’d had with others, including Johnny Doherty, in a local establishment, the owner had the equipment to record them. It was said to be several hours worth. The tale was further woven to be that everything went into storage in the attic of what was a pub/hotel, and there was also news of a fire… But, the place was still standing when I was last there in the 70s… I heard the tales but never managed to chase up those lost tapes. My hopes was to secure them for the folklore commission in Dublin, and leave any rescue to the experts, being familiar with how the media can decay… I still get a sinking feeling in the heart thinking about it… :-/

Frank Cassidy, “Níl gar ann!”

It may help to know that some of what is made available here, though highly valued by me, is not Frank Cassidy at his best. He had set aside the fiddle for sometime when Seamus Ennis came along and urged him to pick it up again and give it a go so he could record some of it. Frank himself was very much aware that he was not in good form, was long out of practice… I had only every heard Frank on old recordings, and they weren’t great, but you could hear the beauty of his music through the imperfection, none of which were in his playing…

This is also lovely in the added recorded comment from the likes of Seamus Ennis & Con Cassidy, and the booklet that is included with the recording.