Blue fiddle, and Ireland's northwest
But before there was Lunasa, founding member and fiddle player Sean Smyth released his debut album. called Blue Fiddle. It quickly gained notice in Ireland, marking him as a player of sure tone and touch, and one who was not afraid to take his fiddle playing a bit beyond the tradition while staying anchored in it. You might figure that from title of just a few of the tunes he includes, Soweto Slides, Welcome to Shetland, and Jamaica Jam alongside Tulla Moondance and Tommy Peeples Reel, a tune he dedicates to his Granny and Granda.
It’s a well chosen set that marked Smyth’s future interests. The Mayo native chose his guests well too, among them his sisters Cora and Breda, who have themselves made professional careers in music, ace box player Martin O’Connor, and Steve Cooney, who wrote the title tune.
listen to samples from The Blue Fiddle here
Blue Fiddle is one of the recordings I’ve come across recently which had fallen to the back of the shelves. Finding it not only reminds me of the times I’ve seen Smyth play, but also of the shop in Letterkenny, County Donegal, where I bought this recording years ago. Letterkenny isn’t really a tourist destination, but rather more of a work a day Irish town, up close along the border between the north and the republic. I’ve spent a good bit of time there over the years, but I’m thinking it’s been far too long since I’ve been back.
photographs are from Saint Eunan’s Cathedral, and from the main street in Letterkenny, and are copyrighted. thank you for respecting this.
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Music Road: Three Fiddle CDs for Fall
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