Ryan & Coughlan, Vol 4

By Sean Ryan and Dan Coughlan

Thirteen comments

Re: Ryan & Coughlan, Vol 4

Found on Spotify.
Don’t Be put off by ‘Volume 1” Try vol4

During a tune search on www.Irishtune’info for Twilight in Portroe came to this page on Sean Ryan’s double CD with the (long) title of “A Collection of His Own Compositions and His Versions of Well Known Traditional Tunes”
https://www.irishtune.info/album/SRyan+C/

That got me wondering if it was on Spotify. Its not. Or at least I didn’t find it.

However that search did lead to a strange collection recordings credited to “Sean Ryan & Dan Coughlan”. No idea when recorded or if previously released. Possibly some from 78rpm records? Or maybe later for those ‘Best of Ceilli Bands” type LPs ?
And who put them up onto Spotify / Amazon / iTunes etc?

At first I was put off by the fact vol1 was all ceilidh band. And recorded with a dominant drummer (busy snare drum, thudding bass drum , occasional ‘wood block’ etc) and on some tracks a pianist who keeps on banging out the same chord even when it really needs to change. However there are Tracks without the full band.
I assumed it iwas THE Sean Ryan (the fiddler and composer) from the tunes played. I knew nothing about Dan Coughlan, but when away from the ceili band you can hear him much better. Sounds like he’s a pretty good player to my ear. Its a style I really like, with nice offbeat ’stabs’ on chords. I’m a real novice on the box, however this is the style of left hand chording I would aspire to. So far, just trying to play the tune with the right hand takes all my concentration. I can manage a few held chords sometimes, but not that really steady offbeat thing that Dan can do so well.

Re: Ryan & Coughlan, Vol 4

The other ‘Ryan & Coughlan Volumes found on Spotify.
(My preference are the tracks without the full band (mostly just fiddle and box)

Vol 1 All tracks are with full Ceili Band.
Vol 2 tracks 1 t0 4; fiddle and box The rest is with full band
Vol3 1-10 Full Band. But 11 - 24 fiddle and box
Vol 4 The one posted; all without the full band.

‘The Golden Eagle’; also credited as Ryan and Coughlan:
Tracks 1-13 Ceili Band. Tracks 14- 21 Just fiddle and box.

Re: Ryan & Coughlan, Vol 4

Hmm… anyone like to guess what track #27 is ? 🙂
There would appear to be all 4 volumes, plus one other on "iTunes". Be wary of the titles, "Lord Gordon’s" comes out as "Land Gardens". 2 out of 2 other tracks I looked at are mis-titled.
Not at all sure about this, strange that no one noticed these before if they were released supposedly last year. The recordings are cheap by "iTunes" standards at £5.99, for between 17 and 30 tracks. Can’t help but wonder who is profiting from this [ such as profits are on iTunes ].

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Re: Ryan & Coughlan, Vol 4

I stumbled upon these a couple of weeks ago, and also find it really interesting that so little information about them is available. Searching for Dan Coughlan, even "Dan Coughlan Irish musician" led me to learned about a hurling champion born in 1870. And on Sean Ryan’s Wikipedia page, it is written under the album the OP was looking for, "No publication information was included in the cd materials."
Misspellings on iTunes are nothing new, though. For example, on the "Lark in the Clear Air" album from 1974, you’ll find "Barnish Misfortune" and "Boys of the Laugh."
The fact that there’s so little information about these publications makes me wonder if Ryan and/or Coughlan wanted to conceal information for whatever reason.

Re: Ryan & Coughlan, Vol 4

The one thing I’m 100% certain about is that Sean Ryan had nothing to do with any "concealment" of information about these recordings, as he passed away in 1985.
Danny Coughlan is mentioned several times in the booklet accompanying the double-CD set released a few years back. There’s a photo of him and Sean Ryan, and it would appear that he played 3-row button accordion.
There’s also a photo of "The Sean Ryan Ceili Band", which includes a guitar player, something I don’t recall ever seeing in any other Irish ceili band.
At the beginning of the biography, it is stated that "Sean recorded albums with P.J. Moloney [ flute-player ], Peter Carberry [ piper ] and Danny Coughlan and Pat Lyons [ accordions ]. Someone has possibly resurrected some of these recordings, but I wonder whom ?

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Re: Ryan & Coughlan, Vol 4

Thanks for posting the recording - I had not been previously aware of these. I love Sean Ryan’s music. I got all 5 volumes, I actually rather like his band’s sound. But of course the fiddle and box tracks are sublime. Box and fiddle is my favorite combination. I’ll post the track listings for the others soon. The recording credit is given on iTunes as "Connoisseur Records".

It does seem like someone concealed the Sean Ryan and Paddy Fahy recording - I’ve never been able to find it.

Re: Ryan & Coughlan, Vol 4

Does anyone know anything about "The Yellow Boree", the air on track 19 of this recording? It’s a beautiful tune, but I haven’t been able to find it anywhere else online. And what is "boree" supposed to mean? I believe in Australia it refers to an acacia tree, and it’s also an obsolete spelling of "bourrée", but neither of those make much sense to me in context. Perhaps yet another garbled title?

Re: Ryan & Coughlan, Vol 4

"Boreen" = a small country road.

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Re: Ryan & Coughlan, Vol 4

Kenny, that would make sense, if they forgot the ‘n’ at the end. Thanks. Will have to keep looking for the tune.

Re: Ryan & Coughlan, Vol 4

‘Boreen’ doesn’t make sense to me. What would a yellow boreen be like? Full of dandelions and clover?

However, yellow acacias are pretty common in Australia and the tune does have a kind of non-Irish feel - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t6qMEcTZoU0.

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Re: Ryan & Coughlan, Vol 4

Goodness only knows. Maybe it’s the setting for a tragic ballad. Anyway, I just want to find other recordings to compare.

Re: Ryan & Coughlan, Vol 4

I can settle this. I had a listen to the 30 seconds or so of "The Yellow Boree" [sic ] in "iTunes".
A few months ago there was a discussion about piper Con Durham, the name rang a bell, and I found some tracks by him on a French compilation of 3 CDs, including one tune which I particularly liked, which thanks to the links in the "Recordings" section, I found had been posted here.
"An Botharín Buí" : https://thesession.org/tunes/9245

Sorted.

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Re: Ryan & Coughlan, Vol 4

Wow! Good work, Kenny. Many thanks for this.