At My Grandmother’s Knee And Other Such Joints

By Mick O’Grady, Jessie Smith, John Blake

Added by Bunty .

Search for Mick O'Grady, Jessie Smith, John Blake.

Sixteen comments

esse Smith, fiddler from Baltimore (USA) learned his music from Brendan Mulvihill from a young age. He has been living in Ireland since 1998 and has recorded with numerous musicians over the years such as The Tap Room Trio with Harry Bradley and John Blake, The Ewe with the Crooked Horn with Colm Gannon and John Blake and a duet CD with piper Emmet Gill from London which will be released in the later part of 2012. He also released a solo fiddle CD entitled Jigs and Reels.

Mick O’Grady is a singer and fiddle player from Dowra, Co. Leitrim. He moved to Ballaghaderreen on the Roscommon / Mayo borders as a child and grew up listening to the likes of Fred Finn and Pack Spellman. He has lived in London and in various locations all over America. Mick released a CD of songs in 2009 entitled The Long Distance Kid and will be releasing a CD together with Jesse Smith and John Blake in the coming months.

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It is what it is…

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…if you remove "jigs", "reels" etc from the titles, that will allow the links to the tunes to appear.
And can I ask, which of the many instruments which John Blake plays does he play on this recording ? - my hope would be flute. Thanks.

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John plays just piano on the recording. Apart from track 16 which has a banjo player backing up the song (I think there may be one other musician on that track as well), each track is the 2 fiddles and piano. I’ll track down the CD later and give more specifics if nobody chimes in in the meanwhile.


Thanks Jason - but if they’ve got John Blake, they don’t need another banjo player. That’s one of the instruments he plays very well too.

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OK, the special guests on track 15 (not 16 as I previously stated… my bad) are Liam Kennedy on fiddle/banjo and Pat Goode on guitar. Not sure about the reason for using a banjo player other than Blake (just wanted to get a friend on the album?). Am not familiar with Liam Kennedy or Blake’s prowess with country/western music, but the song on track 15 is by Woody Guthrie, so maybe Kennedy is better versed in that particular style? Dunno. Regardless, it’s a good track.

Err, I don’t think Woody Guthrie’s music would ever be described as ‘country/western’.

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..with "Scutcher", but I suppose it depends how you treat the song. Is it possible that Liam Kennedy is playing a 5-string banjo, which would fit in more than a tenor banjo ?

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‘People say really, really weird things on this site.’

Yep, like ‘It is what it is… Stunning.’

Please also remove the word ‘song’ from the track listings.

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Calm down now Scutcher — Just for you.

In my opinion, it is what it is. Stunning.

Why should I remove song? I thought this was a site for tunes.

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Please explain…

I’m not understanding you, "Bunty". John Blake is an extremely competent tenor banjo player. If they wanted tenor banjo on any track, why would they bother bringing anyone else in ? If they wanted a 5-string banjo player, that of course is another matter. How is that "weird" ?

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Kenny - I didn’t mean to offend. I thought the statement was kind of exclusive, that’s all. It doesn’t make sense.

Omos de Joe Cooley.

If they wanted fiddle on that album, why did they bother getting Frankie Gavin.

If they wanted piano on that album, why did they bother getting Charlie Lennon.

At complete ease.
Why did John Carty get his son to record on his new album?

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In any case - I think I’ve bugged a few people.

Not my intention. Apologies.

I’m not going to post again here unless its something to do with the * music. I’ve opened the can of Worms and I’ll close it.

Sorry folks.

* IMO stunning

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No offence taken, and no apology necessary…

Bunty - I’m not looking to pick any sort of argument here. I apologise if I’m not making myself clear, but it’s sometimes difficult on the ould internet.
I’m at a major disadvantage here because I haven’t heard this album . I was only looking for some clarification about John Blake’s contribution to the recording.
Doing a Woody Guthrie song, it makes perfect sense to bring in a 5-string banjo player. My point was that because John Blake plays tenor-banjo, and as he is one of the main players on the recording, I couldn’t understand why anyone else would play tenor banjo on the album. Of course, this is not the case - the song required 5-string banjo, not tenor, so they brought in Liam Kennedy. That hadn’t been made clear early on in the discussion.
As for the Cooley album, as far as I know, Messrs Brock and Gavin had the idea together to record a tribute to Joe Cooley, and that’s what they did. They obviously thought it required some appropriate accompaniment, and who better than Charlie Lennon on piano ? One of my favourite recordings of Irish traditional music ever, by the way.
Can’t comment on the John Carty recording - haven’t heard it.

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Apologies for the mislabeling of Guthrie’s music btw. Was certainly before my time and I had it in my mind he was country/western. Also, fwiw, the liner notes didn’t specify the type of banjo being played, so I’m glad somebody was able to put their finger on the difference.