Scaoil Amach an Pocaide – Live in Spiddal

By Tony MacMahon, Steve Cooney

Five comments

The first of Tony Mac Mahon’s last two recordings

As some of you may have already been aware, Tony has had a troubling shake in his right hand for a while now. More recently, a diagnosis of Parkinson’s Disease has been confirmed, and so unfortunately it looks like his playing days are coming to an end. Fortunately, though, two recordings pre-date all this. The first, on Raelach Records, is this live album from a concert he did with Steve Cooney in Spiddal back in 2005. The second is a selection of slow airs that is being prepared for release in 2015 also on the Raelach label. More details here http://tonymacmahon.wordpress.com/news/

Heard him on the radio this morning re above album. He said it was recorded live by Raidió na Gaeltachta without them actually knowing. And implied that perhaps because of this, it was one his best recording sessions.

Saw him playing live with Barney McKenna maybe eight or nine years ago, had the shake then. I thought he explained it as a result of an assault by a past teacher? But as I know too well from my own family history, the shake in the hands and loss of fine motor skills is all too apparent with Parkinsons. I wish him the best and thanks for the fine music.

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Received a copy of this recently and it’s good stuff but then I like Tony MacMahon’s box playing. It’s full of nuance and life, he plays the box with delicacy rather than as a weapon of mass destruction. Good few standards on it and one odd thing for a trad recording these days, is that it is a collection of jigs, hornpipes, marches and airs - no reels. Nothing wrong with that at all but it’s just different in that respect.

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Re: Scaoil Amach an Pocaide – Live in Spiddal

This is … to my mind … one amazing recording. However, I’m going to argue with the track listing (which is the same as on the CD) and point out that the second hornpipe on Track2 is "The Faithful Friend" hornpipe, not "The Friendly Visit."

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