Tag Archives: uillean-pipes

The Blacksmith

I heard The Blacksmith on the Celtic Sojourn the other morning. Man, what a cool song. It is an old classic by a band called Planxty. After hearing it on the radio I realized I did not own the Planxty album this was first heard on. Had to fix that problem right away.
 
Planxty
 
Here is a great video, probably from ’72 or ’73 of Planxty playing The Blacksmith. Though our modern ears have grown accustomed to the sounds that Planxty created, it is worth noting that nobody had really heard bouzouki in Celtic music until Andy and Donal came along. And those strange Eastern European melodies…forget about it.

Planxty:
Dónal Lunny on bouzouki
Andy Irvine on mandolin
Liam O’Flynn the uilleann pipes
Christy Moore on harmonium and bodhrán

In almost forty years no one has done it better. Check out the Balkan inspired weirdness at 3:24. Mighty.
 

The Sudbury Session: Garrett Barry’s

Flutes
 
Here is a great sounding tune from Deidre on the pipe’s called Garrett Barry’s. She had some technical difficulty with the instrument about half way through and had to stop for a strain or two. It doesn’t really surprise me that someone would have technical difficulties with that instrument. The musician has to do about nine things at once and only two of them are related to pitch and tempo. Everything else has to do with harnesses, seat belts, air bags, bellows, barometric pressure, wind speed and what the current phase of the moon is. The fact that anything musical comes out of the instrument is a miracle. In my one attempt to play the beast it sounded like I was squeezing a pair of cats.

Anyhow, before I digress any further…Garret Barry’s.

p.s. I didn’t have any pictures of her playing the pipes, so I settled for this cool one of the flutes.

Pipe Traffic

There is a new musician that has been coming to John Stone’s for our session on Tuesday evenings. He plays the Uilleann Pipes.
 
Uilleann Pipes
 
Man, the pipes give the whole thing a different twist. Check out this mp3 that I was able to record on the Edirol last week. Pay special attention to the second tune. The piper dude is laying on all the regulator keys, or whatever they are called on that crazy contraption. In any case, it sounds like a musical traffic jam. It’s tough to get the flute to sound like that. Other instruments in this musical exuberance: Bouzouki, Flute, Tenor Banjo, Guitar, Fiddle. What fun.