- Tom Sullivan's / Johnny Leary's / Jim Keeffe's
- Keeffe's / The Clog
- Tir na nOg
- The Rising Sun / The Pope's Toe
- The Glin Cottage Polkas
- Paudy Scully's / The Gallant Tipperary Boys
- Jim Keeffe's / Ballyvourney Polka / Johnny Mickey's
- The Trip to the Jacks / Where Is the Cat?
- The Banks of Sullane. Air
- Biddy Martin's / Ger the Rigger
- The Glenside Cottage/ Táim Gan Airgead.
- Willy Reilly.
- Murphy's / Going to the Well for Water.
We at Copperplate are delighted to be associated with the re-release of this classic recording from Jackie Daly. This is Jackie's debut album released in 1977 on Topic records. It has a photo cover and notes from Jackie and Pat Ahern of the Examiner. It features Jackie playing the music of his beloved Sliabh Luachra on Accordion, single reed Accordion and Anglo Concertina. A must have record for all lovers of Jackie's music and the music of Sliabh Luachra.
Sliabh Luachra, "The Rushy Mountain", is the old Irish name for the district on the Kerry/ Cork border surrounding the river Blackwater. For as long as anyone can remember, traditional music and dancing thrived here, and today there must be more active musicians and dancers per acre than any other Irish country district. Rather than reels which have come to dominate the repertoire everywhere else, polkas are most commonly played tunes in Sliabh Luachra, followed by jigs and "slides" (single jigs) and hornpipes, with reels a poor fifth. Most musicians play in a very rhythmic, relatively unadorned style. These distinctive characteristics have been dictated by the requirements of dancers, and the dancing of "sets", (short for sets of quadrilles) is still very popular. Apart from the dance music, quite a few unusual set pieces are still performed and several musicians have specialised in the playing of song airs.
Irish Music Review.com
These two wondrous reissues from the Cork-based Ossian label serve as welcome reminders of just how fixed (perhaps sometimes blinkered) our understanding of Ireland's traditional music can be. Whereas reels tend to dominate most of Ireland's sessions, the area spanning parts of counties Cork, Kerry and Limerick around Sliabh Luachra (the 'rushy mountain') is markedly different. Here reels are relegated to the bottom of the pile, below polkas, double- and single-jigs (a.k.a. slides) and hornpipes and even when played are done so in the remarkably plain, but ever rhythmic fashion which characterizes the area's music. This metrical emphasis and lack of ornamentation reflected the needs of dancers and remains relatively unchanged to this day thanks to the continuing influence of musicians such as the accordionist Johnny O'Leary and the local popularity of set-dancing. Nowadays widely known as a member of Patrick Street (and also at various times Arcady, De Dannan and Buttons and Bows), Jacky Daly's album of accordion and concertina music is still rightly regarded as setting a benchmark for anyone wishing to learn the Sliabh Luachra style. Totally unaided (or even unhindered) by accompanists, Daly weaves his way effervescently through a series of strong and inspirational tunes, kick-started by his classic juxtaposition of three polkas (Tom Sullivan's/Johnny Leary's/Jim Keeffe's) while never venturing far from the Sliabh Luachra repertoire. His concertina-playing has rarely figured in recent times so this unquestionably classic album offers the chance to hear his mouth-watering rendition of one of Ireland's best-known session tunes Walsh's hornpipe. This review by Geoff Wallis first appeared in fRoots magazine — www.frootsmag.com/.
This CD comes as a welcome replacement to a much played, worn out piece of 1977 Topic vinyl, in the Music from Sliabh Luachra series. In spite of the new title and packaging. Jackie is playing anglo-concertina of five of the fifteen tracks and plays most incisively on this instrument. This is Jackie sounding playing the tunes that he grew up with and offering a few surprises along the way. For example, in these capable hands, the two-row accordion can attempt delicate slow airs and the pair of single reels; Biddy Martin's and Ger the Rigger still have that unusual exotic quality. "The re-issue on CD only serves to reinforce a long held opinion that this is a flawless album". Vic Smith,
The Irish Examiner
I never liked the sound of the accordion until I heard Jackie Daly play. There was a perfectly logical reason for this aversion. A childhood association with Monday leftover dinners eaten to the background of a particular sponsored programme on the radio. This programme played "traditional music" and to my certain knowledge put a not insignificant proportion of the population off music forever.
Then when I heard Jackie Daly for the first time in the back room of Ella Willis's pub on Union Quay. I changed my opinion on the spot and fell in love with the music. The album Jackie Daly, recorded in 1977 and originally released on the Topic label. It has now been re-released on CD. This is the real thing, the best of music from one of the true masters. It proves the maxim that fashion comes and goes, but that style is everlasting.
"Many people will be familiar with Jackie's musical partnerships with Seamus Creagh and Kevin Burke, and his contributions to such bands as De Danann, Patrick Street, Buttons & Bows and Arcady, but as far as I know this is the only solo recording that he has made. And it is a true solo album; the only accompaniment is the occasional foot tapping. By The end, you'll find yourself convinced that any accompaniment would have spoiled the effect. The music is the magical music of Sliabh Luachra. As a geographical entity, Sliabh Luachra is ill defined. It has been said that it once consisted of a few square miles of the Blackwater's banks on the Cork/ Kerry border, but has since expanded to include most of County Cork and half of the County Kerry.
The musical style is warm and lively and has the quality of being ancient and at the same time, as fresh as the Sliabh Luachra air. We usually associate the area with polkas and slides, but they also have a distinctive approach to the playing of reels, jigs, hornpipes and slow airs. Jackie gets most of the tunes on this recording from around the Newmarket area. He opens with a set of polkas, Tom Sullivan's, Johnny Leary's and Jim Keeffe's, and follows with a pair of slides, Keeffe's and The Clog, all perfect examples of what Sliabh Luachra music is all about.
The rhythm is easy and unforced and always reminds the listener that this is first and foremost, dance music. On the slides, we get a pleasant surprise, Jackie is best known as an accordion player, but here, and on a number of other tracks, he plays concertina. The concertina is a lovely instrument with a lighter sound that that of the accordion and often sounds like a cross between the accordion and the fiddle.
Jackie's music is full of inventiveness, The Glin Cottage Polkas open as a slow air, but transform effortlessly into a set of polkas. Reels such as the Rising Sun and The Pope's Toe, (great name, where did that come from?) are full of imaginative variations and are a perfect contradiction to those who believe that traditional music has a rigidity that allows for no improvisation. No matter how many times you listen, you will always hear something new. Jackie is a masterful player of slow airs. Here, he gives us three fine examples of the art, Tir na nOG, The Banks of Sullane and Willie Reilly. Slow airs being at the sad end of the spectrum of traditional music, are sometimes milked for all they are worth and can, in the wrong hands end up being mawkish and sentimental. Jackie gets the mix just right and they come across exactly as they should, as true Irish soul music You could have no better introduction to the music of Sliabh Luachra or, for that matter the music of Ireland than this masterpiece". Pat Ahern, The Irish Examiner