Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Leo Rowsome - Hornpipes

Irish bagpipes solo, Decca F6254. The Manchester is an alternate name for Rickett's Hornpipe; also available on this site is the recording of Rickett's by piper Tom Ennis. Leo's version is faster, more free flowing perhaps, although both sound like good dancing music if the dancer were OK with the tempos (not the case these days). The Honeysuckle seems to have been a popular tune with old Dublin pipers such as Jim Brophy, whose playing of it was transcribed in a recent issue of the US publication Iris na bPíobairí/The Pipers' Review, the journal of the US Pipers' Club/Cumann na bPíobairí Uilleann.

More of Leo's 78 RPM recordings may be heard on the CD "Classics of Irish Piping" on the Topic label. Leo's 50s LP Ri Na Bpiobairi (The King Of The Pipers) has also been reissued on CD. Walton's has published an excellent book of Leo's transcriptions, the Leo Rowsome Collection of Irish Music.

Learn from the best

A feature of the Johnny Keenan Banjo Festival, during its eight years, has been the workshops that are on offer to budding musicians.
Each year, the disciplines on offer grows, and this year the organisers have proudly said that they are catering for all instruments, at all ages, for all levels.

"We're trying to develop it each year, and this year we have the uilleann pipes, which we haven't had in the past few years," said Chris Keenan.

"We also have a workshop for songwriters," said Kathy Casey.

The workshops take place on the Saturday and Sunday of the festival and cater for the following instruments: 5-string banjo, clawhammer banjo, finger style tenor banjo, Irish tenor banjo, flute, mouth organ/harmonica, uilleann pipes/low whistle, guitar, dobro guitar and fiddle.

There are also workshops in bluegrass vocals, vocal harmonies - bluegrass and gospel and singer/songwriter.

Check out the full list of workshops on

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Colliers, Salamanca reels on Uilleann Pipes

Irish bagpipe solo, Shamrock 1235, recorded NYC, unknown date. Gallagher was a Leitrim flute player who learned the pipes in America. He displays phenomenal skill with these two reels, which were transcribed in An Piobarie, the journal of Na Píobairí Uilleann, the pipers' club based in Dublin. Note how he plays the bottom D of the chanter while simultaneously striking the D note of his regulators (harmony pipes), using the D to swell the drones at other times.