This album includes many of the most requested songs and tunes from our stage performance as well as some new material. Brad takes the lead on EILEEN AROON, a 14th Century love song. David sings the most widely known of all Irish songs, DANNY BOY. Brad's close harmony a cappella arrangements make these ballads two of our most popular.
BUNCH OF KEYS, SCHAEFER'S LUMBER WAGON, BONNIE KATE is a speedy set of reels we often use to kick off a set. We play them a bit too fast for a proper reel, but they are in good clogging tempo. "Fast and furious" is Brendan's description of WHISKEY IN THE JAR. This "Saturday night song" of Captain Farrell's robbery and revenge, is a favorite in the pubs. Our audiences also appreciate the old patriotic tunes, so we have included two of the best here; THE MINSTREL BOY and KELLY, THE BOY FROM KILLANE. In contrast, listen to Eric Bogle's classic ballad of the personal tragedy so often overlooked in war: THE BAND PLAYED WALTZING MATILDA.
What album would be complete without one of Brad's collection of "Happy sounding sad songs?" Not this one. OLD HOME PLACE is our bluegrass representative, herein offered for your discriminating though dolorous delectation.
Brendan, as poet and Brad, as composer, collaborated to create MARY DOYLE, the sweet, sad story of a girl with the laughter driven from her eyes:
The savage seeds of sorrow
Have darkened your tomorrow
You'll never go home now, Mary Doyle.
One night Brendan, Brad, and Brendan Mulvihill were playing on stage when Brad started a jig Mulvihill didn't know (a difficult task, for Brendan, a champion Irish fiddler, knows them all). Brad confessed the tune was his, and called it FOOL THE FIDDLER in honor of Brendan's momentary confusion. Brendan's fiddle is featured on the LIVERPOOL HORNPIPE, with Brad on lead guitar, and Brendan Sheridan twiddling with the new "Scruggs" tuners on his five-string banjo. Brendan Sheridan named his RORY'S JIG for his two-year-old son. Daughter Maeve, with a grace befitting her beauty, is not at all jealous — she has been promised a hornpipe.
The Irish Breakdown is Brendan Sheridan, Brad Hayford and David Teeple. We would like to thank Brendan Mulvihill for his time, talent and the Liverpool Hornpipe; Paul and Becky Flanagan for the pictures; David Cohen for spinning the dials and using his ears; and Hiram Walker for distilling the session schnapps. Special thanks go to Mary Sheridan and Sophie Hayford for the saintly tolerance of the musicians they married.
Brendan, Brad and David