The Man From Clare

By Micho Russell

Fourteen comments

"Micho Russell: The Man From Clare"

GTD Heritage Recordings,

Notes by Eugene Lambe ~ respected character ~ player & maker of flutes & uilleann pipes and also a featured musician on this recording, being a friend of Micho’s…

~ tunes, stories and songs from Micho’s vast repertoire are recorded here ~ and in all his music one gets fleeting glimpses of a life and traditions that are sadly fast disappearing.

Although known mainly for his inimitable whistle playing, Micho is also a very fine flute player. His rendering of ‘The Fermoy Lasses’ bring to mind the Doolin of the 60s. In company with his two brothers Pakie and Gussie, Willie Beg Shannon, Rory O’Connor, Steve Mac and others, ‘The Plain Set’ would be danced until the small hours… ~ Eugene Lambe

Micho Russell of Fishguard Lane ~ to be found here too ~

"Micho Russell: Traditional Irish Music From County Clare"

"The Russell Family Of Doolin, County Clare"

"Micho Russell: The Limestone Rock"

"Micho Russell: Ireland’s Whistling Ambassador"

"The Totally Traditional Tin Whistle"

~ & some other online examples, MP3s and transcriptions, can be found here ~

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 Russell, 1915 - 1994 ~ “The Companion to Irish Traditional Music”

Edited by Fintan Vallely
Cork University Press, 1999
ISBN: 1-85918-148-1 ~ , 478 pages

Pages 324 - 325 ~ a short excerpt from page 324

Russell, Micho (1915 - 1994) Flute, tin whistle, song. Born at Doonagore, Doolin, Co. Clare, overlooking the island of Iniseer, an area still suffused with folk custom. Influenced in his youth by his mother Annie (née Moloney) and aunt, as well as Patrick Flanagan and Jack Donoghue (all ‘German’ concertina players). His father, Austin, was a sean-nós singer – indeed about a third of the people in his locality spoke Irish when he was growing up, and there was constant contact with Irish-speaking Iniseer. House-dances introduced him to tin whistle; his father purchased a Clarke model for him at a fair and at age eleven he began to teach himself to play. ~

‘c’ ~ much of Micho’s unique style was believed to be from emulating the concertinas that were around him, including the playing of his mother and his brothers, his aunt, Patrick Flanagan and Jack Donoghue ~ including how and when he introduced little silences or breathed to punctuate and lift the music. Another way of dating the tunes he played, distinguishing older melodies from more current acquisitions, was in his attempt to play rolls. Any tune with his take on that ornament tended to be something he’d picked up in his later travels and associations…

Micho was a charmer, a light wherever you found him. Like those great old stones you’d find in a field that are said to drive away shadows and cure warts ~ well, if Micho was present his light definitely drove away shadows and his smile and mischievousness and spirit raised everyone else’s to a smile.

I’m surprised his cheeks didn’t wear away with all the kisses he collected for a tune…

The GTD Heritage recordings are part of a foursome: The Man from Clare, The Limestone Rock, The Wind that shakes the Barley and Our own native land (not 100% sure of the last title but it’s something very much like that). All by Micho.

Posted .

Hopefully someone will add "The Wind that Shakes the Barley", GTDHCD133, & "In Our Own Dear Land", GTDHCD134, soon. I haven’t the pleasure of those listen yet or I would ~ maybe in the near future…

Micho Russell cds

Hello, just in response to ceolachan "The Wind that Shakes the Barley" and "In our own Dear Land" along with other Micho titles are available from can hear a track from each of the albums there too. He had some great stories and folklore- Micho - there’s even some recipes and cures on some of the albums. A legend of the tradition.