As It Was In Toureendarby
A very enjoyable album of solo button accordion from North Cork. Lots of polkas, slides, and waltzes. Many of the tunes are Timmy’s own compositions. Recorded by Gerry Harrington in 2008. Probably pretty hard to find—seems to have no internet presence at all as of this writing.
Just found this: "The CD can be purchased in shops around Sliabh Luachra or direct from the Bruach na Carraige Centre for Traditional Studies, Rockchapel, Co. Cork. Tel: 087-220 5566. E-mail: email@example.com Cost: €15"
A review by Jack Roche in Treoir magazine: "Anyone with an interest in good traditional music will be impressed by the grand old style of Timmy O’Connor and it’s high time some of his music was recorded on CD. The music of Sliabh Luachra is what he loves to play and he has a wealth of it,’ so says Jackie Daly on the sleeve notes of this new CD. Timmy O’Conor comes from Toureendarby, Newmarket, Co. Cork. His CD ‘As it was in Toureendarby’ was launched by Jack Roche in Scully’s Bar Newmarket on 12th December 2009. The house was packed to the rafters for this launch with over 40 musicians, many of whom are regulars at the Monday night sessions at Scully’s, giving an unforgettable night of music. Timmy’s love for music started when he was a small boy in a home of his neighbour Katie Barry who would hold a house dance in her home almost every week in wintertime. After one of these dances one of the musicians left his accordion behind and Timmy called the following day, picked up the accordion, started to play and has been playing every since. Timmy got most of his music from his friend and neighbour, melodeon and concertina player Johnny Mickie Barry who had got it from the old blind Sliabh Luachra fiddle master Tom Billy Murphy. Timmy’s easy style reflects the atmosphere and lifestyle of his own area where music, dancing and home entertainment have been part of life. He played at every opportunity at crossroads, house dances, with a host of local musicians whose names may not be household names in the traditional music world, but who made a major contribution to preserving the unique culture and style of music of their own area. Their Sliabh Luachra style music was a wordless expression of a people who struggled with a hostile world, both material and human. Their many sorrows, of death, and immigration, was expressed in a lonely caoineadh that re-echoed the cry of the curlew or the banshee‘s wail, but through poverty and pain their joy came lilting through in music that set old feet tapping and young feet moving in lively dance. This CD reflects their style with many of the tunes being played exactly as they played them, and many of our young musicians of today should pick up some of this distinctive style.
In the sixties Timmy with his sister Sheila and her husband Jim Barry (the well-known seanachaí) formed the Toureendarby Céilí Band. Timmy later played with Seán Lynch’s Céilí Band, The Shandrum Céilí Band, and The
Duhallow Céilí Band with Mick Williams who used to play on Raidió Éireann’s popular programme ‘Take the Floor’ with Din Joe. He performed with a local group called ‘The Monks of the Screw’ who produced a number of cassettes. He was on the Comhaltas Tour of Ireland in 2001 which he enjoyed very much. He leads the Seisiún at
Bruach na Carraige in Rockchapel each summer and is a regular at the Willie Clancy Summer School, but his real musical home is Scullys bar where he continues to lead the sessions each Monday night which has been running under his leadership for over 30 years. He has been honoured by an invitation to play his Sliabh Luachra music at
the University of Notre Dame in Indiana in the United States next Easter, an event he is eagerly looking forward to.
The CD which was supported by IRD Duhallow under the Local Department Social Inclusion Programme, was patiently recorded in Timmy’s own home by well-known fiddle player Gerry Harrington and manufactured by ‘Open Ear Productions’ in Co. Galway.
Timmy O’Connor continues to avail of every opportunity to play his music, in any location, and with any musicians young or old. Through his music he has made many friends throughout the world as well as making a major contribution to his own community, long may he continue to do so."
Tune comments from the CD:
01. Eily Keating’s - Slides
Eily Keating, from Rockchapel in Co. Cork and formerly from the Co. Limerick, is the source for these tunes. Eily plays concertina in the old style and calls both tunes in this set Kitty Lyons’.
02. Eily Keating’s Jig / The Connachhtman’s Rambles
These two tunes are frequently played at the regular Comhaltas Summer Seisiun at Bruach na Carraige in Rockchapel by myself and Eily Keating.
03. Johnny Mickey’s - Slides
The music of Johnny Mickey is now known globally primarily through the playing of Kanturk accordion player Jackie Daly and others. The opening tune of the set was the first tune that Johnny Mickey Barry wrote for me saying when he gave it to me "Have one tune right anyway".
04. The Cascade / Billy Mahony’s - Polkas
The Cascade is a self-penned composition and named after a local waterfall in Toureendarby. This polka has been recorded by several groups and musicians including The Monks of the Screw, Maura O’Keeffe and Jonathan Roche. Billy Mahony was a great local fiddle player who played a lot of music in the early days of the regular Newmarket session.
05. Doody’s Stick / The Duke of Leinster’s Wife / Paddy Murphy’s Wife - Reels
Doody’s Stick was composed by my niece, Julianne Barry, a granddaughter of Johnny Mickey’s and is named after a foot bridge which crosses the Glenlara River near her home. The Duke of Leinster’s Wife is also known as The Lady’s Pantellettes. Paddy Murphy’s Wife completes this trio of reels the second and third of which were learned from the playing of the legendary Galway box player joe Burke and both of which can be found in O’Neills collections.
My thanks to Denis McMahon for his help in naming these two tunes.
06. The Emerald Isle - Polkas
The Emerald Isle Ceili Band from the Buttevant area of Co. Cork played in the Stella Ballroom in Newmarket on Sunday nights over a half a century ago. These two tunes were amongst their repertoire.
07. Jaques’ Trip to Cork / Tureen Bridge - Slides
Olivier Ceres is a great fiddle player from Brittany in France and has a keen interest in our local musical style. He has composed many tunes and Jacques’ Trip to Cork was written to honour a trip made to Cork by fellow Frenchman, accordion and harmonica player, Jacques Broyeur from Dieppe, a number of years ago. I composed Tureen Bridge to commemorate the former bridge crossing over a local unnamed glasha. This bridge has since been replaced by concrete pipes.
08. Eileen O’Keeffe’s / John Cronin’s / Muirisín Durcan’s - Polkas
These three tunes, regularly played at the Monday night session at Scully’s Bar in Newmarket, now in its 36th year of existence, were recorded by my good friend Tim Browne from Kanturk on his album Mutiny in the County. The first tune comes from the playing of Kiskeam fiddle player Maurice O’Keeffe who calls the tune after his granddaughter Eileen. The second we call John Cronin’s from whom we got the tune. John is a great box player from Newmarket now living in Middleton and got the tune from the fiddle playing of his father D.O. Cronin from Taur, Newmarket. The final tune in this set was learned from fiddle player John Walsh from Derrygallon near Kanturk. John got the tune from the monument to Padraig O’Keeffe which stands at Newmarket Crossroads in Glauntane near Padraig’s homeplace and is written in O’Keeffes "boxcode". We call it Muirisin Durcan’s because of its similarity to the song air of that name. It is mentioned by some to be a tune and a half.
09. Pull Down the Blind / Ger Dan Mac’s - Waltzes
These tunes come from two local musicians, the first from concertina and melodeon player Jack Keane, the second from melodeon player and dancer Ger Dan McAulliffe who lived across the valley from my own place. My good friend and dancing teacher Larry Lynch from San Francisco collected a number of local sets from Ger Dan Mac and has been teaching them around the world over the last few decades. These sets are also included in his book Set Dances of Ireland.
I would like to thank Steve Billingham for the loan of his accordion, a Cairdin C#/D, for the recording of these selections and for his help in making this album.
10. Tom Carroll’s -Polkas
I learned these tunes from Kiskeam fiddle player Tom Carroll. Tom plays regularly at Scully’s monday night session, in Kiskeam and at many other sessions throughout the district including Rockchapel where he came from and where he learned to play from Daniel Saucepan Hartnett.
11. Daniel o’Connell’s / Kiss When You Can - Jigs
These two tunes were favourites of Johnn Mickey Barry. The second tune is also called The Miller of Glanmire.
12. Davy Pigott’s -Slides
Davy Pigott lived in Newmarket and came from the Ballydesmond area of western Duhallow in the heart of Sliabh Luachra. He was a very good accordion player and played regularily at the Stella Ballroom in Newmarket and at concerts and shows in the Duhallow area.
13. Denise’s Waltz / The Blue Danube
I previously recorded these tunes with The Monks of the Screw on their second album. The first tune I composed and called it after Denise Dalton, a good friend and frequent visitor to Scully’s. The second tune we got from fiddle player Jack Connell of Lighthouse, Ballydesmond. Jack had a great repertoire of old dance tunes and the great music collector Brendan Breathnach got many tunes from him.
14. Jack Keane’s / Paddy Barrett’s - Slides
Jack Keane from Knocknagoshel, Co. Kerry used to play locally for house and crossroad dances in the 1940’s and 1950’s. Paddy Barrett, Curradubh, west of Newmarket , Co. Cork was very well known, playing regularly at O’Brien’s Hall, Newmarket and at other local venues. He was also a well known singer and collector of songs.
15. Dermot Latch’s / The Spanish Lady - Polkas
Dermot was a local musician who lived in Taur, Newmarket and had some very nice versions of tunes, this one amongst them. The Spanish Lady came from an old 78 rpm gramophone record and is a version of the well known song air.
16. Johnny When You Die / The Boy in the Gap - Reels
Two very popular reels which are favourites of Eily Keating and myself. We play them regularly at the Young at Heart bi-monthly gatherings in the Parish hall in Rockchapel, Co. Cork.
Sweet music from a real gentleman
I enjoyed a night at Scully’s Bar in Newmarket with Timmy O’Connor this summer and bought his CD at the bar. These local tunes are played in his natural easy style without accompaniment and they deserve to be heard more widely.
This great album now available on Bandcamp—get em while they last! http://scullysfest.bandcamp.com/album/as-it-was-in-toureendarby