The Keegan’s Tunes
A double-CD collection by South Armagh tunestress, the redoubtable Josephine Keegan.
Available via firstname.lastname@example.org
“The Keegan Tunes” (Tune book #1 + double CD) ~ reviews
Label: Ceol Camloch
Pay the Reckoning ~ review
" ~ She rolls her sleeves up, rosins her bow and mixes it with the best of them (and we suspect, the very worst of them … but there’s no evidence of that on this recording!). Various groups of musicians play on the album and Keegan is to the fore in each - and yet her presence never overshadows her fellow musicians. Far from it. Keegan can never be accused of being a primadonna. Her style is understated (and yet delicately ornamented) and we suspect she may have needed a little cajoling to gear herself up for this mammoth project. But her presence is virtually luminous! ~ Over 45 tracks, we are given the opportunity to revel in some 70+ of Keegan’s original tunes. ~ there’s almost three hours of music of this double CD ~"
FolkWorld CD Reviews
"Josephine Keegan is a very well known fiddler and pianist from South Armagh. Over the past thirty-odd years she has made many recordings, usually as an accompanist, and composed well over a hundred tunes. This book collects more than eighty of her compositions, many of which have already become part of the Irish tradition. The accompanying double (double) CD includes performances of nearly all these tunes in the house dance style. The book itself runs to 125 A4 pages, some thirty of these given over to Josephine’s flowing prose. In between sections on her musical background and on traditional dancing in Armagh, we find the tunes organised by form: 35 reels, 16 jigs, 18 hornpipes (something of a Keegan speciality), and many more. ~ "
- Alex Monaghan
A short bio beginning:
"Josephine Keegan was born of Irish parents in Dundee, Scotland in 1935 and at the age of four came to live with her family in South Armagh. She began to play piano and fiddle when she was about six, being taught by both parents at home and later took formal lessons. Josephine studied classical music on both instruments as well as playing traditional music and won many prizes at competitions throughout Ireland. She won a gold medal at the Feis Ceoil in Dublin and later won the gold medal at the All-Ireland Fiddle Championship at the Oireachtas in 1955. ( Half a century ago) There followed frequent broadcasts, radio and television, from RTE, BBC and UTV." ~
"Josephine Keegan, from Mullaghbawn, Co. Armagh ~ A great selection of lovely music played by Josie herself with a variety of local musicians and groups from around Newry and South Armagh. This Double CD has an accompanying book which additionally includes music for traditional dances popular in South Armagh, where Josie Keegan lives."
“The Keegan Tunes” ~ Books 1 & 2 ~ self-published
Bk. 1 ~ A4 softback book, 128 pages
Bk. 2 ~ A4 softback book, 96 pages, 105 more Keegan compositions
Packed with photos, reminiscences and other references to Josephine’s musical background and her tunes. ~ Book 1 also contains details of South Armagh dances, with illustrations and the history behind them.
“Lifeswork: The Compositions of Josephine Keegan” ~ Double CD
Celtic Music CMCD079
The Mustrad Review:
" ~ This is not a retrospective of the fiddler and pianist’s career, but a collection of 83 of her compositions plus her arrangements of two Carolan melodies. All of these tunes and several others appear in an associated book.
Josephine only takes the lead on fourteen of the album’s 44 tracks, the remainder are played by a group from Camloch, Co. Armagh (to which Josephine adds piano accompaniment), another group from neighbouring Mullaghbawn (featuring Josephine on fiddle), a large fiddle group (including JK on fiddle and keyboard) and a collection of other musicians (to which again she sometimes plays piano accompaniment) ~
~ this is a thoroughly enjoyable collection ~"
- Geoff Wallis - 16.7.02