Hynes & Denis Liddy
Waifs & Strays
Tig na Coille Records TNCCD 001
Waifs & Strays (reels)
on underlined titles to hear MP3 sound samples
Taking their name from the great collection of Captain Francis O'Neill, The Waifs and Strays of Gaelic Melody. This CD presents traditional Irish music from county Clare.
Flautist Michael Hynes is one of the finest flute players ever to come out of that music haven. He and his brothers have been at the forefront of flute playing in Clare with their playing with The Four Courts Ceili Band, and in fact for several years, we in London were lucky enough to hear their music in our own city. He was often a member of Le Cheile, the legendary band of London based musicians. Sadly, (for us) Michael returned to his native Clare some years ago.
On fiddle we present Denis Liddy, winner of many titles and musical director of the All Ireland winning ceili band from Barefield, Co Clare. The accompaniment is at a minimum , but is in the tasteful hands of Rob Sharer. A wonderful album, full to the brim of good tunes, played well by two masters of their trade. The fiddle and flute duet to die for.
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"I had the pleasure of hearing Michael many times, whether with his brother, P.J. or playing solo concerts when his music carried the soul of the nation. Michael could, with his fluteplaying, lure an audience into a hypnotic trance. His ability to hold a note to the very edge of it's existance shows the power of the tradition he is steeped in. Once again, those magical qualities are to the fore on a brand new CD entitled, Waifs and Strays, where fellow Clareman Denis Liddy joins Michael on fiddle.
had the pleasure recently of playing at Denis's wonderful new folk club in Ballyline.
It reminded me of years ago in London, when my music teacher, Brendan Mulkere
from Crusheen, used to bring the cream of traditional musicians from all over
Ireland for us young students to hear.
Being able to hear these greats in such intimate settings stays with you for the rest of your life and it is a rare individual like Denis who is willing and able to generate these important moments.
Denis's "gra" for the fiddle playing of Munster is excellently captured in this recording.
Together, his and Michael's mutual commitment and respect for the tradition is unmistakable from the first note and the rhythm and lift of Denis has aquired from the years of playing for dancers is ever evident.
This is a thoughtful collection of jigs, reels. hornpipes and airs. In fact, all the different rhythms within our tradition carefully presented. Some new compositions nestle effortlessly with tried and trusted classics making this a unique recording of fiddle and flute music from the Banner county. I encourage you all---buy it"! John Carty 2003 Traditional Musician of the Year.
Clare musicians Michael Hynes & Denis Liddy both hail from a long line of musical families.
Denis is a fiddle player from the Crusheen area (next to concertina player Jack Mulkere, founder of the Aughrim Slopes Ceili Band); flutist Michael comes from the Kilshanny parish.
Michael and Denis
met in Lahinch two years ago and discovered that they both love to play for
set dancers. Accompanied by Rob Sharer on guitar. It's Clare music on offer.
When God spoke, Let there be music, he added and a rake of Clareman. It is certainly
not true that if you're not from Clare you can't play music, but Michael and
Denis are an example for the opposite. They can play, and they play in the tight
and bouncy style of County Clare, more precisely in the West Clare style (as
opposed to the bluesy East Clare style). Michael is a composer in his own right,
but the album title has been inspired by the collection of traditional Irish
dance tunes assembled by Chicago police captain Francis O'Neill, "Waifs
and Strays of Gaelic Melody," the source of many tunes on the disc.
There are others, the "Cradle Song" appears in James Scott Skinner's collection, and it was there you could read: talent does what it can, genius does what it must. Walkin' T:-)M
The Irish Post Newspaper 31.1.04
THIS excellent CD is a brilliant exercise in how new life can be breathed into old music.
And as if that wasn't enough the extraordinarily detailed liner notes (for older readers, what we used to call sleeve notes) give a very comprehensive breakdown of tunes, airs and melodies, where they came from, where they were collected, and who used to play them.
There's also a couple of self-penned pieces included ó notably Corkscrew Hill and the Humours of Smithstown (both Clare landmarks) which, like their namesakes, are set deep in the genre of the local music.
Although the music from Clare county is to the fore, it's particularly gratifying to see a tune from the great Scott Skinner included. The Scotsman, often known as The Strathspey King, is generally ignored by Irish musicians, which is a pity because he was pretty much a one man folk revival on his own.
Skinner's The Cradle Song was learnt by Michael Hynes via the Belfast fiddler Sean Maguire, a great afficionado of the Scottish fiddler.
And the tune takes
on a new dimension when played on the flute. And there's none of that antiseptic
flauting here, (see James Galway).
This is in-yer-face flauting, so strong you can almost feel the wood in the instrument tremble.
Skinner was always
famous for the logo on his collections 'Talent does what it can, genius does
what it must",
a motto which could be applied to Clare music in general, and this collection in particular.MALCOLM ROGERS 4 out of 5
Fortunate enough to catch Denis Liddy and Michael Hynes playing recently in Ennis, this reviewer was enthralled by the gently rolling music emanating from their respective fiddle and flute. Waifs and Strays is a more than estimable release, providing a captivating series of tunes reflecting both musiciansí involvement in the music of their native County Clare. Backed only by Rob Sharerís almost inconspicuous guitar, the pair mount numerous peaks and rarely hit a trough. Their version of a set of the reels Tinkerís Daughter, Andersonís and John Cartyís is benchmark standard and, fittingly for two musicians who enjoy accompaniment, the album concludes with part of the Caledonian Set, complete with the sound of the set-dancers feet.
There's a sweet delicacy to much of their music, but it is never cloying to the ear while some of the tune changes are both unexpected and adroitly handled. All told, Waifs and Strays doesn't just bring a breath of Clare, but a mighty inhalation of fresh air. Geoff Wallis