Mícheál Ó Raghallaigh and Danny O’ Mahony in Larkin’s pub in Garrykennedy, Co. Tipperary. Photograph: Dragan Tomas.
In what they refer to as a ‘free-range recording’, Mícheál Ó Raghallaigh and Danny O’ Mahony have released thirty-nine tunes, mostly in sets of three, in fourteen tracks on their duo album ‘as it happened’.
Six sets of reels, five of jigs, one of hornpipes, one of barndances, and one four-tune set of polkas make up the mostly concertina-accordion duos. There is one concertina solo set of jigs from the Meath man (‘Cliffs of Moher’, Mist Covered Mountain’, and ‘The Gander at the Prataí Hole’) and one accordion solo set of reels from the Kerry man (‘Humours of Scariff’, ‘The Mullingar Races’, and ‘Reel of Rio’).
Featuring a mixture of frequently heard traditional tunes (such as ‘Connaught Man’s Rambles’, ‘Last Night’s Fun’, ‘Wind that Shakes the Barley’, ‘Rolling in the Rye Grass’) and not-so-common ones (like ‘Brown’s Kitchen’, ‘Hayden’s Fancy’, ‘Eddie Maloney’s’), the composed tunes featured are ‘The Lone Bush’ by Ed Reavy, ‘Reel of Rio’ by Seán Ryan, ‘The Porthole of the Kelp’ by Bobby Casey, ‘Flanagan Meets O’ Hanlon’ by Brian McGrath and Johnny Óg Connolly, and ‘The Mist Covered Mountain’ by Junior Crehan.
In relation to the style of playing, O’ Mahony explains: ‘Our approach to performing is very much an experimental one, where one plays off the other,’ and in that way the tunes can be quite quite different each time they play together.
Recorded in Meath with the help of Caoimhín Ó Raghallaigh, the notes by the musicians touch on a number of issues. On regional styles, they are tongue-in-cheek about the risk that the ‘“Regional Style” police’ might ‘look into’ the North Kerry-South Meath juxtaposition. On unison playing, they are cool about not playing ‘note for note, probably because it takes too much effort and neither of us are into that really’. On the blending of sounds, they suggest ‘being able to hear every note on its own or layered with a myriad of others could pose a challenge of analysis’.
The physical CD or a download version can be purchased on dannyomahony.com, where you can also get O’ Mahony’s solo CD, In Retrospect, from 2011, and find out about live performances. Ó Raghallaigh’s CD, Comb Your Hair and Curl It, with Catherine McEvoy and Caoimhín Ó Raghallaigh from 2010 is available on cdbaby.com.
As it happened track listing:
1. Rathcroghan, Garrett Barry’s, Collier’s (Reels)
2. Humours of Ballyloughlin, Boys of Tandragee, Connaught Man’s Rambles (Jigs)
3. The Peeler’s Jacket, The Boy on the Hilltop, Last Night’s Fun (Reels)
4. The Lone Bush, Humours of Tullycrine (Hornpipe)
5. Eddie Maloney’s, Tommy Mulhaire’s (Jigs)
6. Humours of Scariff, The Mullingar Races, Reel of Rio (Reels)
7. Hayden’s Fancy, Brown’s Kitchen, The Magic Slipper, The Little Diamond (Polkas)
8. Delaney’s Drummers, Cooley’s (Jigs)
9. Corney is Coming, The Beauty Spot, The Chattering Magpie (Reels)
10. Cliffs of Moher, Mist Covered Mountain, The Gander at the Prataí Hole (Jigs)
11. The Port Hole of the Kelp, In to the Room I Want You, Hickey’s (Reels)
12. Gan Ainm, Flanagan Meets O’ Hanlon (Barndances)
13. Paddy Clancy’s, Tom Busby’s, The Stolen Purse (Jigs)
14. Farrell O’ Gara, Wind that Shakes the Barley, Rolling in the Rye Grass (Reels)
Published on 29 May 2012