Michael Sexton Ceili Band, Volume 2: Mad to Dance

By Michael Sexton Ceili Band

Three comments

“Michael Sexton Ceili Band Volume 2: Mad to Dance”

Produced and engineered at Harmony Row Studios, Ennis, Country Clare, Ireland

The Michael Sexton Ceili Band:
Michael Sexton - accordion
Ralph Morgan banjo
Caroline Tubridy O’Dea - fiddle
Michelle O’Brien - fiddle
Pat Curtin - flute
Brian Morgan - flute
David Culligan - drums
George Byrt - piano
Paul O’Driscoll - double bass

Tracks / = Set of Quadrilles
_1 - _5 = The Clare Lancers
_6 - 11 = The Cashel
12 - 18 = The Labasheeda
19 - 24 = The Clare Orange & Green


I know, I know ~ I’ll be back! I’ve a lot gan ainms here to clear up once I can find the disk… The notes for this disk are sparse, the reason for all those ‘temporary’ gan ainms…

This is yet another pair of recordings that someone thought needed a boost. Why? The evidence of this is the pitch, a half step up from concert, up from where Michael Sexton and his band would have originally been taking it, as recorded before anyone started screwing around with dials in the processing. To avoid unwanted noise and distortion, ‘artifacts’, when someone diddles a tune this way, boosting the tempo, it’s best to let the pitch rise as it would normally, in this case upwards with that rise in tempo. What that means is that a tune in D, or any relative key, sounds a half step sharp, Eb. In the old days this was sometimes done to fit more on the limited media, such as the old 78s.

Back to those tempo changes, one track for comparison, the after as it sounds on the CD, and the ‘before’, taking it back to the source, the band, and A=440:

Track 1 - reels - "The Clare Lancers", first figure:

122 bpm ~ on the CD
116 bpm ~ the bands tempo at the microphones, before processing/diddling…

The same thing happened to the first recording of this pair, "Michael Sexton Ceili Band":
https://thesession.org/recordings/1916

& something similar here too, a full step up and a bigger boost to tempos:
"Music for the Sets Volume 1: Round the House"
https://thesession.org/recordings/1028

It wouldn’t be the first time the actions of commercial interests, or some inconsiderate twit, have affected the music and the dance.

Re: Michael Sexton Ceili Band, Volume 2: Mad to Dance

Track 18 #3 is mislabelled - in fact it’s "The rights of Man" (J Hill) https://thesession.org/tunes/83