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Traditional Music Sessions from the BR Taylor Collection
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Michael Downes, fiddle
Cloonlaheen West, Mullagh


Recorded in Downes’ home, 11th July 1976
Recorded by Barry Taylor
BR Taylor Collection Tape 019 - 1


Michael Downes


1. Reels (6): Humours of Castlefin/Glen of Aherlow/Killarney Boys of Pleasure/Crowley’s 1/Crowley’s 2/Greig’s Pipes (0.02 – 5.23)
2. Jigs (2): Banish Misfortune/Kitty's Rambles (5.35 – 7.22)
3. Reels (3): Toss the Feathers (3 versions) (7.44 – 12.47)
4. Talk: about versions of ‘Toss the Feathers’; Bobby Casey; 'Junior' Crehan; Scully Casey; slow airs; learning from Junior and Bobby; Michael’s mother (died April 1975) (12.48 – 17.27)
5. Jig: Apples in Winter (17.33 – 19.50)
6. Talk: about Scully Casey’s jig – plays a fragment (19.50 – 20.13)
7. Jig: Maid in the Meadow (20.19 – 21.40)
8. Reel: Farrell O’Gara (21.53 – 23.41)
9. Reel: Sailor on the Rock (23.56 – 25.12)
10. Reel: Humours of Lisadell/Reel of Mullinavat (25.40 – 27.42)
11. Reel: Jackie Coleman’s (28.01 – 29.50)
12. Talk: about learning tunes; didn’t learn much from gramophone records; Junior’s teaching method (29.52 – 30.38)
13. Talk: about double bowing, with demonstration; playing 2 strings at one time; with demonstration: (30.40 – 30.52)
14. Reel: Copperplate (30.52 – 31.06)
15. Talk: about playing 2 strings at one time; Sligo/Leitrim style; Clare style – slower; modern players – no good but likes Bothy Band; Peadar O’Loughlin; no other fiddle players in his area; played with Patrick Kelly when Michael was young; Patrick Kelly had a different style – sweet and low; (31.10 – 34.40)
16. Talk: comparison of Michael’s style with Patrick Kelly; would Barry Taylor like prefer Sligo or Clare style?; Fred Finn and Peter Horan (34.44 – 36.02)
17. Talk: Hard to play because of effect of hard work on fingers; difficult to play for tape recorder; was taped before (comment by Bridie); going to Katty’s Bar – P. J. Neenan’s – in Mullagh (36.03 – 37.26)
18. Talk: John Joe Healy; Scully and Thady Casey; Thady Casey was a great step dancer (37.27 – 39.13)
19. Talk: about Michael Downes holding fiddle against chest (39.20 – 40.08)
20. Reel: Julia Delaney's (40.21 – 41.54)
21. Reels (2): Pigeon on the Gate/Miss Monaghan’s (42.05 – 44.50)

Bobby Casey & Michael Downes, photo courtesy of Peter Laban 1990

Bobby Casey & Michael Downes, 1990. Photo © Peter Laban

 


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