The Donegal Fiddler

By Danny O’Donnell

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The Donegal Fiddler

Danny O’Donnell’s only solo album was issued in 1973 on the Philips label and, boy, what a bollix they made of it!

Look at the album’s credits and you’ll discover that every single tune is credited as ‘Trad. arr.’ to either Bill O’Brien or one D. Kay (as in tooth rot, presumably) - two ‘musicians’ who, presumably at the label’s bidding, swamped Danny’s fiddle with inappropriate keyboards and guitar.

Mind you, Danny always wanted to be accompanied when he recorded. He pulled out of ‘The Brass Fiddle’ album once he realised that he wouldn’t be backed and did the same with the ‘missing’ album which Topic planned to release in conjunction with ‘The Northern Fiddler’ book.

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Track 10…

I think I still have some of this on a cassette tape, maybe 35 years old. Somehow or other, the LP turned up in the library in Aberdeen in the early 70s. There was some kind of harpsichord-sounding accompaniment, I seem to remember. I wonder if Track 10 is "The Orange Rogue", not "Road". Was there not snare-drum on some tracks, too, "Floss"?

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Yep, I think there might be, Kenny, but, to be honest, I can’t bear to play the album to find out.

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