The Bruce Molsky of Irish concertina?
October 5, 2016 5:45 PM   Subscribe

I recently stumbled up on this Facebook video of a girl just crushing it on the concertina. I am a big fan of American fiddle music, and would like to find the equivalent of Bruce Molsky, but on the concertina in the Irish tradition.

By which I mean: who are your go-to, best of, Irish concertina players? Bonus points if your recommendation features a deep catalogue on Spotify that will let me dig into this niche genre with ease.
posted by jamaal to Media & Arts (7 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
 
Hmm. I'm not sure I can think of many concertina focused outfits. Accordians are a lot more common than concertinas in trad. Is that an acceptable answer too or no?
posted by fshgrl at 5:51 PM on October 5, 2016


Hmm. I'm not sure I can think of many concertina focused outfits. Accordians are a lot more common than concertinas in trad. Is that an acceptable answer too or no?

I am really particularly interested in Irish concertina. So far, I have stumbled on Noel Hill's album (helpfully titled) The Irish Concertina, which is exactly in the vein I am looking for.
posted by jamaal at 5:59 PM on October 5, 2016


That would be Charlie Piggott formerly of De Danaan and the Lonely Stranded Band. He also plays accordion and banjo. Don't know about Spotify but the link in his name takes you to his Fair Haired Boy & Scatter the Mud.
posted by mulcahy at 6:14 PM on October 5, 2016


The folks at the concertina.net forum may be able to offer informed guidance. They are pretty friendly.

(I first thought of an album I like by The Smokey Chimney, but it turns out it's not a concertina in the band, as I'd thought, but a button accordian. Still, worth a listen.)
posted by bertran at 7:38 PM on October 5, 2016


Niall Vallely is your man.
posted by corey flood at 9:18 PM on October 5, 2016 [2 favorites]


Niall Vallely is a modern player - he plays Irish tunes, and composes tunes in the Irish style, but the "pure drop" traditionalists would say he also works on the jazz fusion end of things. (especially his band Buile) Even for straight up tunes, his ornamentation has more accidentals and modern feel to it. Totally awesome player, but as you get into the various concertina styles you'll see how his isn't exactly representative.

Mícheál Ó Raghallaigh is more of a traditionalist, his style is heavy on the rhythm, you can pick his playing out of a crowd for the chord work (not like guitar chords, more like fiddle doublestops). His solo albums Inside Out and Nervous Man are both great, and probably your best go-to if you are just looking for concertina - but Comb Your Hair and Curl It is basically my favorite Irish music album of all time, it's got a great rhythm to it, largely due to the heavy doublestop work on fiddle and concertina.

Also on your list should be Edel Fox and Caitlin nic Gabhan, Hugh Healey. Slightly less current discography would be Noel Hill, John Williams (from Chicago, not the Star Wars guy), Chris Droney, Gearóid Ó hAllmhuráin... I'm skipping over a lot, but I've listed most of my favorites.
posted by aimedwander at 12:43 PM on October 6, 2016 [1 favorite]


Although they are both accordion players, see if you can find something by Tony McMahon (Bothy Band) or Jackie Daly (Patrick Street).
posted by John Borrowman at 4:29 PM on October 6, 2016


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