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Chris Smith: Words & Music

Reels: The Union/The New-Mown Meadow/The Boys of Malin

(Chris Smith (banjo), Randal Bays (fiddle), Roger Landes (bouzouki))
2005-09-13
A final blast of reels in various permutations of “A”. In a session setting, it’s nice to change keys between various tunes within a set—makes for more contrast and nuance—but at the end of the night, it’s somewhat satisfying just to lash into what Scots fiddler Johnny Cunningham (RIP) called “the fast key.” I’ve heard the first tune attributed to Golden-Era accordionist John Kimmel (thanks, Bill Black), but I think I first heard it on Mary Bergin’s 1979 whistle album Feadoga Stain; it’s also collected by Breathnach in CRE V as #186.

“The New Mown Meadow” was recorded by Sligo’s Michael Gorman in 1957, and later by Murphy/Clifford and Johnny O Leary, but I have it from Séamus Begley & Steve Cooney (Kerry) and from Clare’s Noel Hill & Tony MacMahon.

For our final tune we go way back North to Donegal, for a tune sourced from fiddler John Doherty. Breathnach has it in CRE II (#132), but I got it from Paddy Glackin and Liz Doherty.