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Repertoire for a startup celtic group

axman664 09 Apr 02 - 02:18 PM
GUEST,maryrrf 09 Apr 02 - 03:36 PM
MMario 09 Apr 02 - 03:42 PM
axman664 09 Apr 02 - 04:12 PM
MMario 09 Apr 02 - 04:36 PM
GUEST,celtic cousin 09 Apr 02 - 04:40 PM
George Seto - af221@chebucto.ns.ca 09 Apr 02 - 07:26 PM
GUEST 09 Apr 02 - 08:04 PM
Celtic Soul 09 Apr 02 - 10:24 PM
GUEST,axman664 09 Apr 02 - 11:18 PM
SDShad 09 Apr 02 - 11:43 PM
GUEST,Pete from Annapolis 09 Apr 02 - 11:49 PM
GUEST,Seamus Kennedy 09 Apr 02 - 11:49 PM
michaelr 10 Apr 02 - 12:33 AM
michaelr 10 Apr 02 - 09:14 PM
Amergin 10 Apr 02 - 09:20 PM
Rt Revd Sir jOhn from Hull 10 Apr 02 - 09:34 PM
michaelr 10 Apr 02 - 09:48 PM
Rt Revd Sir jOhn from Hull 10 Apr 02 - 09:52 PM
Celtic Soul 10 Apr 02 - 09:52 PM
greg stephens 11 Apr 02 - 12:36 PM
GUEST,celtic cousin 11 Apr 02 - 10:27 PM
michaelr 12 Apr 02 - 12:36 AM
SDShad 12 Apr 02 - 08:42 AM
Desert Dancer 13 Apr 02 - 01:05 AM
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Subject: Help: Repertoire for a startup celtic group
From: axman664
Date: 09 Apr 02 - 02:18 PM

I and some musician friends are all learning celtic instruments and would love to have a good set of tunes we could possibly gig with. We envision doing a mix of reel/jig-type tunes and what I guess are called "pub" tunes that we would sing as well. Where do we start? To whom should we listen? Are there any good fakebooks out there for this kind of thing?


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Subject: RE: Repertoire for a startup celtic group
From: GUEST,maryrrf
Date: 09 Apr 02 - 03:36 PM

Well, for pubs and audience pleasers (I'm talking songs) you might try the Clancy Brothers. They have a lot of good ones that people enjoy.


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Subject: RE: Repertoire for a startup celtic group
From: MMario
Date: 09 Apr 02 - 03:42 PM

what are your "celtic" instruments? What market are you trying to go for? What musicians do *you* like? Where are you located?


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Subject: RE: Repertoire for a startup celtic group
From: axman664
Date: 09 Apr 02 - 04:12 PM

the band would be one guy who could play bodhran/hammered dulcimer/drumset/anything percussion; an accordionist/keyboardist; mandolin/whistles; and guitarist (4 people total...in reality we're a percussionist, pianist, trombonist, and hornist who have all gotten at least a B.M.) We're in Maryland (Baltimore/Annapolis). Obviously we want to have fun with whatever we play, but if we could play at an Irish pub/restaurant kind of place, that would be bonus. We would settle for a Shriner's convention if it meant we could get out and play. What musicians do we like? Honestly we like just about anyone we hear (Chieftains, Dougie MacLean) but we want to listen to the best (and more)!


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Subject: RE: Repertoire for a startup celtic group
From: MMario
Date: 09 Apr 02 - 04:36 PM

Having asked all those questions - which I thank you for answering - I have to admit I am in no way qualified to answer yours -however I am sure there are others who *are* qualified that will appreciate the extra information.

but I do find the "celtic" groups I like the best have a fiddle in the mix somewhere.


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Subject: RE: Repertoire for a startup celtic group
From: GUEST,celtic cousin
Date: 09 Apr 02 - 04:40 PM

Hi Axman664, Here are a couple of books with CD's I've found most valuable '130 Great Irish Ballads' and '110 Ireland's Best Session Tunes'. I'll put the publishing info below. As a neophyte, freshwater celt I've learned a ton from these two books. They contain great 'pub songs' ala The Clancy Bros. as well as plenty of session standards. They both have CDs with the verse/chorus should they differ and on the session tunes part A/B should 'they' differ. As far as bands I'd recommend checking out Silly Wizard, the Bothy Band, Patrick Street, the Pogues, Planxty and Craobh Rua(pronounced Crave RU-ah) as starting points. Here's the publishing info:

130 Great Irish Ballads-Music Ireland, 61 Grosvenor Square, Dublin 6, Ireland - Book/CD

110 Ireland Best session Tunes-Walton Music, Inc., P.O. Box 874, New York, NY 10009 - Book/CD (There's a whole series of these including, fiddle tunes, tin whistle tunes, slow airs, etc. all published by Walton Music.)

There's, also a great website that's got melodies/lyrics from folksongs all over Europe. Its webb address is http://www.acronet.net/~robokopp/folkindx.htm


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Subject: RE: Repertoire for a startup celtic group
From: George Seto - af221@chebucto.ns.ca
Date: 09 Apr 02 - 07:26 PM

Ballad of St. Ann's Reel and the tune to go with it for sure.

Unicorn Song (Irish Drunks seem to love this song by a Jewish songwriter)
Water is Wide/Carrickfergus
Most of the O'Carolan tunes.

Most of the Niel Gow tunes
Danny Boy
Loch Lomond
J Scott Skinner Tunes
Some of the Jerry Holland tunes
Murshin Durkin
Long Black Veil
Black Velvet Band
Most of the Makem/Clancy Reperitoire (After all they invented the genre, didn't they?)
Evans and Doherty songs
Any number of sea songs and chanties/shanties.

There's a bit of a start. I'm sure you'll have a ton (well just what you've gotten so far is a lot).


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Subject: RE: Repertoire for a startup celtic group
From: GUEST
Date: 09 Apr 02 - 08:04 PM

The area you are in has an excellent Celtic music community. I suggest you get out to the places where the music is regularly (ie sessions, concerts, that sort of thing) and pay attention not only to what the instrumental mix is, but also how the sets get put together.

I'd second getting a fiddler in the mix too--I can't think of any successful Celtic music acts that don't have at least one fiddler, off the top of my head.


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Subject: RE: Repertoire for a startup celtic group
From: Celtic Soul
Date: 09 Apr 02 - 10:24 PM

Well, there's a few takes here, from where I sit.

You can do the things that are popular, and done quite often. The ones crowds come to know and love like a well worn, favorite sweater.

You can break the mould, and do things that are rarely done...perhaps do them in a unique and different way, and carve your own path.

Or you can do some of both.

For me, I like a little of both. I would check out the bar scene, listen to some old standards, and then give a listen to those that step off the beaten path.

As you are so near my own home stomping grounds, I can recommend quite a few places to start. Check out the House of Musical Traditions in Takoma Park, MD. There are a metric buttload of recordings (local artists), and a further metric buttload of information on where to see some of them, and yet another metric buttload of sheet music and song books.

There are also a huge amount of bars that sport Celtic music regularly in the area. If you are in/close to Annapolis, Seamus Kennedy plays regularly at Harry Brownes in the historic district. There are many in Baltimore, but they all escape my memory right now (We even played one at one point, and I can't even remember *it's* name).

Additionally, there is the Folklore Society of Greater Washington. A wonderful organization that is worth joining, if for nothing else, their support of local artists. Here's the URL for their calendar: http://ceimd.com/fsgw/calendar.php3

You can always listen to Mary Cliffs show, or Shamrock and Thistle, and pick out the tunes you like to do.

Not to mention the many Celtic festivals around these parts as well.

And, when you get it together, let us know. I'd personally love to come see what yet another local Catter is doing! :D

Break a leg!


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Subject: RE: Repertoire for a startup celtic group
From: GUEST,axman664
Date: 09 Apr 02 - 11:18 PM

Thanks, everyone...this has been great!!!


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Subject: RE: Repertoire for a startup celtic group
From: SDShad
Date: 09 Apr 02 - 11:43 PM

I'd also recommend not limiting your repetoire entirely to "Celtic" songs & tunes. Numbers you like and can be adapted to your style as a "Celtic" band can really round out a set nicely. There's plenty of precedent. The House Band do Tom Waits' "Shiver Me Timbers" and Bulgarian folk tunes. Makem and Clancy did Michael Smith's "The Dutchman" and Gordon Bok's "Peter Kagan and the Wind." The Battlefield Band and the Tannahill Weavers, among others, have done Stan Rogers' "Barrett's Privateers." The Blarney Brothers do James Keelaghan's "Fires of Calais." Mary Black sings Stephen Foster's "Hard Times Come Again No More."

The Buckaroos (the loose-knit band I'm in), both in "Celtic"-mode gigs and non, do Sydney Carter's "Lord of the Dance." Oh, and "The Dutchman," for good measure. :-)

If you feel like it, find things like this that you like and want to play. Audiences may be surprised and delighted to hear songs they know from another setting in your style.

Chris


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Subject: RE: Repertoire for a startup celtic group
From: GUEST,Pete from Annapolis
Date: 09 Apr 02 - 11:49 PM

A fellow Marylander, eh? Cheers. Well met. The absolute haven for Irish music in our area (unless there are secret meetings unbeknownst to me) is a place by the name of J.Patrick's Pub on Andre Street near Fort McHenry in historic locust point. You can almost jump straight to it from I-95 if you take the Key Highway exit. There are sessions at the pub every Thursday night. In addition, there are a number of groups that play there on weekends as well as Irish dancing (which I believe takes place on the weekdays). And if you're really in for a good time (and simce I'm in the mood for some shameless, shameless self promotion), Rigadoo plays there the third Saturday of every month.

Hope this helps. Best of luck to you.

Cheers, Pete

PS: From where did you recieve your B.M.'s?


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Subject: RE: Repertoire for a startup celtic group
From: GUEST,Seamus Kennedy
Date: 09 Apr 02 - 11:49 PM

Check out Mick O'Shea's in Baltimore on Charles St. Sean Donlon's on West St in Annapolis, where there is a fine session on Tuesday nights.

Seamus


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Subject: RE: Repertoire for a startup celtic group
From: michaelr
Date: 10 Apr 02 - 12:33 AM

Personally, in choosing repertoire for my band, Greenhouse, I've made a point of staying away from "most of the Makem/Clancy" songbook. My main reason is that those songs, while certainly a vital and important part of the tradition, have been done to death, not only by the Clancys (and I could mention the Dubliners and the Irish Rovers, as well), but also by the countless pub singers who have covered that material for the last 50 years. Let's face it, the tradition is a bottomless treasure trove, with different and wonderful songs to be discovered for a lifetime.

I try to keep up with young artists coming out of Scotland and Ireland, and I keep finding great songs that haven't been covered (much, or at all, so far as I know). A good old song can be comfortable to revisit when the time is right (and, when the gig requires it, I will sing something like "Finnegan's Wake" or "Whisky in the Jar"), but there is nothing like the excitement of discovering a "new" trad song, coming up with an arrangement, and sharing it with the band and the audience.

That's my $0.02. Cheers,

Michael


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Subject: RE: Repertoire for a startup celtic group
From: michaelr
Date: 10 Apr 02 - 09:14 PM

What, no arguments?

I'm surprised. ;-)
Michael


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Subject: RE: Repertoire for a startup celtic group
From: Amergin
Date: 10 Apr 02 - 09:20 PM

well you could always learn the songs of the wonderful Irish band Sorcha Dorcha.....that would be a great start anyways.....

amergin (filling in for larry)


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Subject: RE: Repertoire for a startup celtic group
From: Rt Revd Sir jOhn from Hull
Date: 10 Apr 02 - 09:34 PM

I suprised nobodyoy mentyioned The Dubliners yet.john


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Subject: RE: Repertoire for a startup celtic group
From: michaelr
Date: 10 Apr 02 - 09:48 PM

John, please read my post. I distinctly remember mentioneing them...

Michael


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Subject: RE: Repertoire for a startup celtic group
From: Rt Revd Sir jOhn from Hull
Date: 10 Apr 02 - 09:52 PM

Yes you did, sorry!


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Subject: RE: Repertoire for a startup celtic group
From: Celtic Soul
Date: 10 Apr 02 - 09:52 PM

Mick O'Sheas!!! By God, Seamus..thank you! That was nagging at me since I posted to this thread. Yes...that was the place in Baltimore that we have played.

Thanks!


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Subject: RE: Repertoire for a startup celtic group
From: greg stephens
Date: 11 Apr 02 - 12:36 PM

Leaving aside the point that I don't really believe in "Celtic" music as a genre(remember a bit of Austrian repertoire, where the "Celts" came from..or not)..if you want to be a Scottish/Irish/ American band, great. But if you want to be Celtic, do have a listen to some stuff from Britanny, Cornwall,Isle of Man, Cumberland,Wales. All good Celtic places. And you might be agreeably surprised by some English material, the place with the most Celts of all ( after America, that is).


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Subject: RE: Repertoire for a startup celtic group
From: GUEST,celtic cousin
Date: 11 Apr 02 - 10:27 PM

Right on Greg! Shame on me for not mentioning other celtic traditions...I was trying to give axman664 a starting point for his band. There's a wealth of music from Wales...Sain Records in Caernarfon would be a good resourse. There's a group called 'The Wild Welsh Women' playing traditional material. Sian James, Robin Huw Bowen, The Alarm(not traditional for sure), Dafydd Iwen. I bought a book a few years back called 'Blodau'r Grug' - 100 Popular Welsh Folk Dance Tunes. There's no CD with it, but the melodies are pretty easy to figure out and the chord changes are there. Here's the publishing info:

THE WELSH FOLK DANCE SOCIETY SALES OFFICER ANDREW BARTHOLOMEW 12 Rookwood Avenue Llandaf Cardiff CF5 2NP WALES


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Subject: RE: Repertoire for a startup celtic group
From: michaelr
Date: 12 Apr 02 - 12:36 AM

And then there's the wonderful Galician Celtic music from northern Spain...


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Subject: RE: Repertoire for a startup celtic group
From: SDShad
Date: 12 Apr 02 - 08:42 AM

Right you are, michaelr. To be honest, I don't know a whole lot about Galician music, but what I have heard I've loved. Carlos Nunez is one of my favorite pipers of any sort.

Chris


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Subject: RE: Repertoire for a startup celtic group
From: Desert Dancer
Date: 13 Apr 02 - 01:05 AM

I'm not trying to be rude, though ultimately I may be by mentioning this, but aren't you going about this backwards? "Hey, we've got a band ready to perform, we've picked a genre to learn, what shall we play?" I guess if you're versatile, talented musical folks (which it sounds like you are), you can pull that off. But, don't most folks find a music that they love, learn it well, and then find like-minded and experienced folks and form a band to perform?? More power to you if you can do it in reverse, I s'pose, but it seems like you're diving into the "gig" aspect prematurely. But then, I've tendencies to be overly cautious about that kind of stuff, myself!

~ Becky in Tucson


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