The Sunny Banks

By Edel Fox and Neill Byrne

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Five comments

Lovely music

This is a great summer of ‘13 offering, with Neill Byrne’s fiddling an added bonus to Edel’s playing. Edel is as lovely a person as she is a musician. Does music reflect a person’s personality and character? She is warm, sincere, sensitive, and intelligent. Like her music. This is lovely duet playing.
Caoimhin O’Fearghail seems to be everywhere these days. He plays guitar and bouzouki beautifully, supporting and adding to the music rather than making the music second to an obtrusive accompaniment. He is a brilliant musician and plays several other instruments at a very high level. His presence here is very welcome.
There are some (fairly) recently composed tunes here that are not commonly played in sessions, along with some great old tunes not heard often, such as "Give the Girl her Fourpence," which I first heard played by Micho Russell twenty years ago. The music fairly sparkles. It is crisply and cleanly produced, which is perfect.
I changed the spelling of Tommy People’s "Jocylyn’s Jig" on the track list to "Jocelyn’s." And I added "Sean Ca Ceo" after John in the Fog to make it easier for people to find it should they know it by that more common name.
Thanks to Edel, Neill, and Caoimhin. I love the CD. Lots of great material here.

Tune Credits

Some tune credits found on

The reels ‘McKenna Country’, ‘The Humours of Nickey’ and ‘Joey’s Delight’ were written by Leitrim fiddler Joe Liddy. ‘Breffni O’Reilly’s’ is an Ed Reavy tune. ‘The Meadow’ and ‘Ahern’s Egg’ are from Cork man Finbarr Dwyer. Dywer, say the artists, ‘is [also] well known for his skill in taking a older traditional tune and making the melody his own’.

‘Jocylyn’s Jig’ is a version of a Tommy Peoples’ waltz. ‘The Hill of Bruff’ jig is by Meath accordion player, Lorna Davey; ‘The One that was Lost’ and ‘The Penny Candle’ are by Paddy O’Brien (the Tipperary one). ‘The Lochanside’ was written by a pipe major named John McLellan (1875—1949).

Fox herself composed ‘Nana Jo’s’. ‘The Nightingale’ is by Seán Ryan. ‘Farewell to London’ is by the Armagh-born fiddle player, Brendan McGlinchy. ‘The Chapel Bell’ is composed by Frank McCollam from County Antrim. ‘The Woods of Caol Rua’ and ‘The Road to Eyries’ are by John Dwyer, and Charlie Lennon composed ‘In Memory of Tommy McCarthy’.

There are plenty of un-credited tunes but most are played in less common versions, for example the version of ‘A Pigeon on the Gate’ which they got ‘from the playing of Noel Hill from the “bible” CD Noel Hill and Tony Linnane.’

The Sunny Banks

Fantastic new album for two master musicians. Great tunes, pace and phrasing throughout. Their choice of tune selections are well thought out and researched. It’s a joy to listen to and a must have for any fan of "real authentic" traditional Irish music. A rare gem in the hoards of very poor recordings been released in this modern music world.

5 stars in my opinion.