Traditional Irish Music From Doolin Co. Clare

By Terry Bingham

Nineteen comments

A Rare Album of Concertina Music

The Clare Concertina style is nice and unhurried which makes this album great for picking up tunes (and a fine selection of them there are too).

Terry Bingham is a competent traditional musician and is well accompanied/complemented variously by the following:

Mary Custy: Fiddle
Dermot Byrne: Accordion
Kevin Griffin: Guitar
Ian Lamb: Guitar
Eoin O’Neill: Bouzouki

The CD is (c) 1997 by Ossian Publications

I’m interested in this recording. I got Mary Custy and Eoin O’Neill’s "With a Lot of Help from Their Friends" (https://thesession.org/recordings/display.php/311)
featuring almost the same musicians and I really enjoy their playing. But is it easy to get this one?

Thanks. I once bought some CDs through "Knotted Chord" and later visited the shop in Ennis. I’ll have a look next time I visit Ireland.

great album! One of my favourites..

Posted by .

i really like this cd, it makes me wonder why i never liked the concertina before?

I still haven’t got this CD yet, but I go to hear him playing in Lisdoonvarna whenever I stay in Co. Clare. I heard Terry is originally from Co. Down.

Correct, his dad is Leslie Bingham one of the Flute players in the movie - ‘The Boys From County Clare’ & his sister is Tara (Diamond) Bingham, another great Flute player who teaches at Miltown each year.

Willie Clancy’s, track #3 on this recording

I periodically go through CDs and other recordings I grabbed in Claire and learn the tunes in the set orders as played there. Although I have had this CD since it was released I never looked at the title of track #3, nor thought about the name.

On the CD sleeve the first jig is listed as "Willie Clancy’s." In fact, it’s commonly known as one of the tunes called "I Buried My Wife and Danced on Top of Her Grave."

Also, if anyone else has this recording I am curious as to if the regular released version is mis-mastered as mine is. Mine is a half-step sharp from reality (I never noticed Mr. Bingham playing an Eb concertina, so I figure it must be the recording.)

Posted by .

It’s probably not your CD. Some musicians like to record a half-step up from where they’d normally play in sessions. They like the brighter tone, I guess. Or the cynical explanation is that the brighter tone makes the CD stand out against the competition when heard side by side on the radio and may help sales.

In sessions, they’d usually play in the normal keys so as not to exclude those who don’t have instruments that can play in odd keys, or because they’ve only borrowed that E flat instrument for the recording.

In re: Willie Clancy’s, track #3 - to GaryAMartin

Since it’s a concertina, which is fixed pitch - I think we can be sure he didn’t tune it up a half step. :) This is why I thought it was the CD mastering.

Apparently it is the CD, as some of the other tracks are normal pitch - but it’s obvious they are played on the identical box.

Probably they just sped it up a bit while mastering.

Posted by .

Maybe your hearing is better than mine. With the fiddle so high in the mix on track 3, I can’t be so sure it’s the same instrument.

Okay, now that I’m home from the office and can listen carefully with an instrument at hand, here’s what I notice and what I deduce from it.

All of the tracks except two are pitched a half-step higher than normal. The two exceptions are the tracks that feature Dermot Byrne on button accordion.

It’s very, very unlikely that this would be the result of either intentionally or accidentally changing the pitch electronically after the fact. The other accompanying intstruments could retune or use a capo. Only the accordion is stuck playing in the usual keys. (Sure, it’s possible to play a half-step up on both accordion and concertina, but why?)

If Bingham had wanted to play everything in the normal keys and then raise the pitch in the studio, why would he choose NOT to do this to the two accordion tracks, yet do it on all other tracks? And if it were an accident, the chances of making that accident on all but the two accordion tracks are miniscule.

And considering that the overall feel of that CD and the others in that series on the Ossian label is very natural and traditional, it would be very odd to doctor it in the studio.

The only reasonable conclusion is that he borrowed (or owns) a C#/G# concertina (sometimes called an Eb concertina since one uses a C/G to play in D) for the recording of the tracks that are a half-step up.

A fine CD. The two hornpipes on track #4 listed as "Byrne’s" and "O’Callaghan’s" are perhaps better known as "The Rover Through the Bog" and "Cronin’s." At least that’s how you’ll find them in the tunes database here.

Great stuff

This is a great CD… unfortunately it’s not available anymore, like Kevin Griffin’s one… Terry told me that Ossian will maybe publish a CD with some tunes of the two CDs put together…

And still available

I just bought my copy of this CD in December 2006 from Ossian USA, who mailed it to me instantly.

this is one of my favorite concertina cd’s. i love clean yet technically fluid playing, and this is that. i throw a slap triplet or a clean roll in here or there, but for how to make a concertina melody sing, this is one of my prime role models.