Dé Danann (De Dannan)   •   Dé Danann

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  • Dé Danann
    • 1975 - Polydor 2904 005 LP (IRL)
  • Side One
    1. Tripping Up the Stairs, A Trip to Athlone
    2. The Sunny Banks, Farewell to Erin
    3. The Mountain Streams
    4. Cathleen Hehir's
    5. Eighteen Years Old
    6. The Green Fields of Rossbeigh, Toss the Feathers
  • Side Two
    1. The Duke of Leinster, Tar Bolton
    2. The Blackbird, The Jolly Clamdiggers
    3. Rambling Irishman
    4. The Gold Ring
    5. The Shores of Lough Bran
    6. Glenbeigh Hornpipe, Mountain Lark & The Musical Priest

  • Dé Danann
    • Vocals: Dolores Keane
    • Banjo, Melodeon: Charlie Piggott
    • Bodhrán: Johnny 'Ringo' McDonagh
    • Bouzouki: Alec Finn
    • Fiddle: Frankie Gavin
  • Credits
    • Producer: Dónal Lunny
    • Directed by Jackie Small
    • Recorded at Eamonn Andrews Studios, Dublin.
    • Sleeve Design & Artwork: Alec Finn
    • Photography: John Morris
    • All tracks: Trad. Arr. Dé Danann

Sleeve Notes

Based in Spiddal, the focal point of the Connemara Gaeltacht, DE DANANN are a unique combination of the traditional music styles of Galway and Kerry. Their idiom has evolved through many 'sessions' along the Connemara coast; in Hughes's, An Cruiscin Lan, Jimmy Faherty's, and under the ever-hospitable roof of Cathleen Hehir in Camus. Dolores Keane and Frankie Gavin are both from the eastern shores of Lough Corrib, from the musically fertile area of Caherlistrane and Annaghdown. Dolores is a member of one of our best-loved musical families, and her cool and impeccable style owes much to the discipline of the unison singing of her aunts, Rita and Sarah. Her repertoire of songs reflects the constant stream of singers and musicians who came to participate in the musical life of the Keanes of Caherlistrane. On this record she sings a version of "The Mountain Streams" taught her by Paddy Tunney, and it was from two other Northern visitors, Len Graham and Joe Holmes, that she learned "The Rambling Irishman". Though Frankie Gavin is the youngest member of the group, his playing has already a flair and maturity that places him among a handful of our most promising young musicians. Apart from 'conventional' fiddle technique, there are echoes of the fiddling styles found in Kerry and Donegal. His playing of Willie Clancy's "Gold Ring" shows fidelity to the phrasing, triplets and cranning of uilleann piping. Charlie Piggott is the multi-instrumentalist of the group, and the only Southerner. From his father who was born near Glenbeigh, he inherits the ten key melodeon style of East Kerry. Infectiously clear and sunny, the music is much akin to the concertina playing of South Galway and Clare. One of the most distinctive DE DANANN sounds, is that of the bouzouki duets. Charlie's banjo and bouzouki playing is here coupled with the contrasting style of Alec Finn's. Alec plays a six-string bouzouki which he tunes modally in the original Greek manner. Born in Yorkshire of Irish parents, he moved back to Dublin 12 years ago, and from there to Spiddal. He has adapted the Greek characterisation of melodic and rhythmic inventiveness to the Irish way of strong, single-line playing, in a way that transcends all notion of mere accompaniment. It is his free ranging playing, unobtrusively weaving among the other instruments, which gives the rhythmic buoyancy so central to the DE DANANN sound. The percussive powerhouse for the group is the only true-blue Galway citizen, the inimitable Johnny "Ringo' McDonagh. The sheer variety of sound and rhythm found in his bodhran playing must put him among the best in the country, and his unique bone playing may be noticeable on one of the tracks ("The Green Fields of Rossbeigh"). Followers of folk music should find DE DANANN a refreshing addition to the traditional musical culture that still thrives in Ireland.