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Info: Irish musician Al O'Donnell

Related thread:
Obit: Al O'Donnell Sept 2015 (14)


Peter T. 16 Dec 04 - 10:26 PM
Amos 17 Dec 04 - 12:09 AM
Peace 17 Dec 04 - 12:12 AM
Nerd 17 Dec 04 - 01:15 AM
MartinRyan 17 Dec 04 - 05:09 AM
Wolfgang 17 Dec 04 - 06:16 AM
Peter T. 17 Dec 04 - 03:43 PM
ard mhacha 17 Dec 04 - 04:50 PM
MARINER 17 Dec 04 - 04:55 PM
Bill D 17 Dec 04 - 04:56 PM
GUEST,Conor O' Donnell 02 Nov 05 - 09:17 PM
MartinRyan 03 Nov 05 - 04:10 AM
Peter T. 03 Nov 05 - 07:08 AM
The Borchester Echo 03 Nov 05 - 07:31 AM
GUEST,Jamie Davidson 12 Sep 06 - 12:20 PM
Bill D 12 Sep 06 - 12:54 PM
Scrump 12 Sep 06 - 02:16 PM
MARINER 12 Sep 06 - 02:38 PM
GUEST,Peter T. 12 Sep 06 - 03:52 PM
GUEST,Mike Miller 12 Sep 06 - 06:03 PM
Stewie 12 Sep 06 - 08:42 PM
Wolfgang 13 Sep 06 - 09:05 AM
MARINER 03 Oct 09 - 04:47 AM
Stewie 03 Oct 09 - 06:10 AM
Ross Campbell 03 Oct 09 - 06:54 AM
Declan 03 Oct 09 - 06:57 AM
Phil Cooper 03 Oct 09 - 09:10 AM
MARINER 03 Oct 09 - 11:41 AM
Commander Crabbe 05 Oct 09 - 06:29 PM
GUEST,spike woods 11 May 10 - 04:07 PM
MARINER 12 May 10 - 04:43 AM
GUEST,spike woods 19 Jun 10 - 06:57 PM
GUEST,GUEST, Patrick Clerkin 08 Oct 12 - 04:32 PM
GUEST,Beachcomber 09 Oct 12 - 06:03 AM
sheila 09 Oct 12 - 10:26 AM
musicmick 09 Oct 12 - 12:00 PM
GUEST,dave burton 04 Apr 13 - 09:14 PM
MartinRyan 03 Sep 15 - 04:33 PM
GUEST,Spike Woods 05 Sep 15 - 05:19 AM
GUEST,Sean O'Shea 08 Dec 15 - 07:35 AM
maeve 08 Dec 15 - 08:00 AM
akenaton 08 Dec 15 - 01:45 PM
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Subject: Al O'Donnell?
From: Peter T.
Date: 16 Dec 04 - 10:26 PM

We have a number of lyrics here owed to Al O'Donnell, and I have a couple of wornout tapes of his early albums -- but there is virtually nothing about him on the Net or in the reference books I have consulted. He is obviously well known as a traditional player in Dublin, and has earned all kinds of respect. Does anyone know anything about him?

yours,

Peter T. (a big fan in North America)


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Subject: RE: Al O'Donnell?
From: Amos
Date: 17 Dec 04 - 12:09 AM

Appears he brought out an eponymous record for Leader Records:

LER 2073                   Al O'Donnell

He also sang for a short whie with the group called "Sweeney's Men" in London, played with Christopher Delaney,

The Digitrad also cites his record referring to a Childs 87 derivation called "Lord Abore and Mary Flynn":

"Al O'Donnell 'Al O'Donnell 2' The Leader Tradition LTRA 501. Tom
Munnelly collated this text from recordings of Jim Kelly and Frank Feeney and
passed it on to Al O'Donnell."

In 2002 it was said (http://www.iol.ie/~ronolan/ballad_biogs.html) "On return to Dublin he became prominent in the ballad scene, singing in folk clubs and on Teilifis Eireann, where he now works as an artist. Continues to sing, most notably at the 2000 Ennis Traditional Festival."

Elsewhere the album "Al O'Donnell 2" is listed a sbeing on the Transatlantic label.

Dick Gaughan learned "Raglan Road" from him; he tells the story this way:

Raglan Road (Patrick Kavanagh)


Learned from Al O'Donnell. I decided to sing this after Al took me on a tour of Dublin pubs, searching for the perfect pint of stout, which turned into a detailed explanation of all the references in the poem. If you want to understand any piece of Dublin literature (especially Joyce) get a native Dubliner to take you on a pubcrawl. The tune, although this is disputed by Irish singers, is Scottish, 'Dawning of the Day'.




Hope these help.


A


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Subject: RE: Al O'Donnell?
From: Peace
Date: 17 Dec 04 - 12:12 AM

Sent you a message.


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Subject: RE: Al O'Donnell?
From: Nerd
Date: 17 Dec 04 - 01:15 AM

Al O'Donnell 2 is indeed on Transatlantic with the label designation "The Leader Tradition" and the matrix number LTRA501 (1978)

Al O'Donnell is Trailer LER 2073 (1972)

I have both of them here with me as I write, but they say little about the man. In 1978 he was working in the graphics department of Irish TV, and I think he stayed with RTE.

The Child 87 version is one of the few ever recorded within the revival; Tom Munnelly was at the time (and perhaps still) the only collector to have found a version with a tune in oral tradition. He recorded it from Jim Kelly and then found Kelly's source, Frank Feeney. He compiled a version from the two texts, and gave it to Al along with the tune.


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Subject: RE: Al O'Donnell?
From: MartinRyan
Date: 17 Dec 04 - 05:09 AM

Al is still alive and kicking, as far as I know. Retired from the state TV company. Still singing occasionally.

Regards


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Subject: RE: Al O'Donnell?
From: Wolfgang
Date: 17 Dec 04 - 06:16 AM

For more than a handful of songs I can say: Version I like best is on one of Al O'Donnell's LP's.

Wolfgang


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Subject: RE: Al O'Donnell?
From: Peter T.
Date: 17 Dec 04 - 03:43 PM

Funny that someone so talented should have so little "airplay". My opinion. yours, Peter T.


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Subject: RE: Al O'Donnell?
From: ard mhacha
Date: 17 Dec 04 - 04:50 PM

Al O`Donnell featured in many RTE TV and Radio programmes in the late 60s and early 70s.


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Subject: RE: Al O'Donnell?
From: MARINER
Date: 17 Dec 04 - 04:55 PM

Al O'Donnell is a fine banjo player , guitarist and singer, both of his albums are gems. I think he first became known in the Nottingham area, where, I again think, he went to university .I often saw him him play in the 60s or70s and was always impressed.One of his contemporarys in Notts was another fine singer/songwriter called Spike Woods. Both of them seem to have gone from the scene, a great loss.


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Subject: RE: Al O'Donnell?
From: Bill D
Date: 17 Dec 04 - 04:56 PM

someone posted Trailer LER 2073 in a newsgroup awhile back...I shamelessly downloaded it because it sounded interesting...and indeed, he IS a fine singer.


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Subject: RE: Al O'Donnell?
From: GUEST,Conor O' Donnell
Date: 02 Nov 05 - 09:17 PM

How are you. Just to let you know that Al is recording a new album at the moment and gigging in the Cobblestone Dublin on the 28th of Dec. If you'd like to send me your details I'll notify you when the album is out. Odonnellconor@eircom.net


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Subject: RE: Al O'Donnell?
From: MartinRyan
Date: 03 Nov 05 - 04:10 AM

Conor

Be sure to post details here - lots of fans around.

Regards


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Subject: RE: Al O'Donnell?
From: Peter T.
Date: 03 Nov 05 - 07:08 AM

Great. I have essentially worn out my tape from incessant playing and one accident with a cat. New stuff would be fantastic.

yours,

Peter T.


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Subject: RE: Al O'Donnell?
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 03 Nov 05 - 07:31 AM

Conor, this is excellent news and, as Martin says, do please post details of Al's CD as soon as available. I met lots of you O'Donnells in Dublin, probably 1971 or 2, just after Al had recorded for Bill Leader. One of you (sorry, can't remember which, maybe you? along with some Kennedy sisters) took a lot of trouble to introduce me to loads of Dublin musicians who I duly interviewed. What a marvellous, friendly scene it was . . .


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Subject: RE: Al O'Donnell?
From: GUEST,Jamie Davidson
Date: 12 Sep 06 - 12:20 PM

OK - I've just discovered this thread. I've been looking for ages for just about any mention of Al O'Donnell on the net without success. Until now! I'm desperate to get the texts of several of the songs he recorded (however long ago?) particularly a song called "Slieve na Mon" (not sure of the correct spellng) - there are texts available but they are of a different song! Please, please, if anyone has the words of this and can give them to me I'd be for ever grateful. And if anyone had the album...... email me on jas.davidson@virgin.net


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Subject: RE: Al O'Donnell?
From: Bill D
Date: 12 Sep 06 - 12:54 PM

I have something called "Sliabh na mBan", about some insurgents and their betrayal. Could that be it? (sorry, I do NOT have any text lyrics)


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Subject: RE: Al O'Donnell?
From: Scrump
Date: 12 Sep 06 - 02:16 PM

I thought Sliab na mBan started something like "My hgeart is broken in sorrow" (can't remember the next line) - is that the song?


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Subject: RE: Al O'Donnell?
From: MARINER
Date: 12 Sep 06 - 02:38 PM

I saw and heard Al O'Donnell a few months back in Colfer's Pub , Carrig- on -Bannow Co Wexford (A great pub for folk and trad.) He played support for Niall Toner's Band.For a while i thought "Ah he's not the same " but when he got going he was as good as ever. Great voice, great guitar playing and as usual great and some not very well known songs . As a friend said to me "Al never took the easy songs .He always went for the hard ones and made them his own". A great singer with great songs ,if he's ever in your area , don't miss him.


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Subject: RE: Al O'Donnell?
From: GUEST,Peter T.
Date: 12 Sep 06 - 03:52 PM

If you type in "Lyr Req: Slievenamon" in the Search function, and scroll down to Wolfgang's post, you will find the lyrics Al O'Donnell sings.

yours,

Peter T.


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Subject: RE: Al O'Donnell?
From: GUEST,Mike Miller
Date: 12 Sep 06 - 06:03 PM

I would love to hear from or about Al O'Donnell. I haven't heard him since Dublin in the late 60's when we hung at O'Donegues on Merion Road. I played with him, often, but he was working, at that time in a bluegrass trio with a fiddler whose name I should remember, but I don't. Their big number was a version of The Monroe Brothers' song, "Movin' Day". We all worked at the same clubs on different nights, mostly at Slatterey's on Capel Street. God, I miss those days.


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Subject: RE: Al O'Donnell?
From: Stewie
Date: 12 Sep 06 - 08:42 PM

Mike Miller, I suggest you contact Conor O'Donnell who gave his email address earlier in this thread. I contacted him because I want to know when the new album is available. He sends occasional emails indicating Al's gigs etc. The latest came on the 7th of this month and reads as follows:

Hello one and all. Just wanted to let you all know that Al O' Donnell will be On RTE Radio 1 tomorrow night Thursday the 7th Doing a full interview at 10pm on tonight with Tom McGurk ( this is available on broadband for those of you abroad) Also Al will be playing the Cobblestone, Smithfield on the 22nd of September , This gig has been great fun and also had some great support acts to open. On the 29th of September Al will be in Killalla, co mayo. Hope we can get to see you all at one of the gigs. Thanks for your continued support.
                               Conor


--Stewie.


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Subject: RE: Al O'Donnell?
From: Wolfgang
Date: 13 Sep 06 - 09:05 AM

Jamie Davidson,

Peter's advice only works with one of the two possible search option. Therefore, I have made it easier for you: click

Don't mind asking for other lyrics. I think I have all the Al O'Donnell lyrics, may be not verbatim, but at least a close approch.

Wolfgang


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Subject: RE: Al O'Donnell?
From: MARINER
Date: 03 Oct 09 - 04:47 AM

Can anyone tell me where I can get the "new Al O'Donnell CD ? .It came out last year ,I think.I have searched all my local CD stores but no one seems to know anything of it nor have they been able to find out where it can be ordered from .


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Subject: RE: Al O'Donnell?
From: Stewie
Date: 03 Oct 09 - 06:10 AM

I got my copy by mail order from Claddagh records in Dublin. There was no way I could buy it here in Oz.

Claddagh

--Stewie.


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Subject: RE: Al O'Donnell?
From: Ross Campbell
Date: 03 Oct 09 - 06:54 AM

Al O'Donnell - Rambleaway. A 2-CD collection of live and studio recordings.

20 euros plus p/p. Sound clips on that link as well.

Check out the rest of the Claddagh catalogue, too - amazing range.

Ross


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Subject: RE: Al O'Donnell?
From: Declan
Date: 03 Oct 09 - 06:57 AM

The title of the album is Ramble Away and it features both a live CD and a studio recording.


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Subject: RE: Al O'Donnell?
From: Phil Cooper
Date: 03 Oct 09 - 09:10 AM

Thanks for posting a link. I've clicked on it and am checking on whether I can get a copy in the US.


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Subject: RE: Al O'Donnell?
From: MARINER
Date: 03 Oct 09 - 11:41 AM

Thanks all, I haven't been in Dublin in some time but I will wend my way to Claddagh Records within the next few days.


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Subject: RE: Al O'Donnell?
From: Commander Crabbe
Date: 05 Oct 09 - 06:29 PM

Bought the album in Ireland April 09 its v good. Have it in the car at the moment for travelling to.

CC


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Subject: RE: Al O'Donnell?
From: GUEST,spike woods
Date: 11 May 10 - 04:07 PM

Al is alive and well and lives close to the Wicklow mountains. He's just recorded a fine double cd and plays every week in a Dublin bar. I often speak to him over the phone, and chat about the old days. We both lived in the Nottingham area and went to Art college together. We often played together (mostly Country and Bluegrass music), and I remember encouraging him to sing more music of his own heritage, after hearing him sing Bold Phelim Brady and others. After college he settled in Dublin and worked as a designer for RTE.Me? I'm still playing and writing songs. I've had various country and bluegrass bands. I worked for 13 years with Ed Bloomfield writing two songs and a sketch per week for a radio show for my sins! Good times, though.


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Subject: RE: Al O'Donnell?
From: MARINER
Date: 12 May 10 - 04:43 AM

Spike Woods !, now there's a name from the past. I mentioned your name in a posting above. I was a frequent visitor to the old Folk Club at the Mariner's Hotel in Haverfordwest back in the 60s or was it the early 70s? , when you were one of the regulars.I remember bringing you a copy of Al O'Donnell's new record, a 45 rpm . Paul Turner was the usual driver in his ,if I recall correctly, 1929 Alvis .We often froze on the way down but fortified with good ale, sang on the way back to Fishguard , despite the cold.
I still have the "New Voices"? album that you appeared on along with some other emerging folk artists of the time.


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Subject: RE: Al O'Donnell?
From: GUEST,spike woods
Date: 19 Jun 10 - 06:57 PM

Thanks Mariner.I think you may be remembering the folk club Pete and Anne Shrives set up in Joffre Swales' cellar. We did play in the Mariners for a bit as well.That was 1963/4. Max Cole was another regular, and Ray Smith. They're both still playing. Yes, that record of Al's was 'Sammy's bar', by Cyril Tawney. It was me that taught him that song - I used to sing it with Anne Briggs and Wocko. We all grew up together.Paul Turner's still in Fishguard (you have a remarkable memory) - not got his Alvis any more, but I recall those journeys well. The LP you refer to was 'Second Wave' on Transatlantic. A box set has recently been released with 'Big Bird' on it. If you want to hear some more of my work, go to www.reverbnation.com and type in Spike Woods. There are over 50 songs uploaded there. You can download them all. Thanks for the memories, Mariner.


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Subject: RE: Al O'Donnell?
From: GUEST,GUEST, Patrick Clerkin
Date: 08 Oct 12 - 04:32 PM

I remember Al from the early seventies. Played sometimes in the Tradition Club in Slattery's pub in Capel Street. Great singer and guitar player. I have his 2008 Double CD also. Good to know he is still performing.


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Subject: RE: Al O'Donnell?
From: GUEST,Beachcomber
Date: 09 Oct 12 - 06:03 AM

Who has ever sung an English language version of the immortal "Donal Óg" with such emotion and integrity as Al Ó Donnell ? What a pity that he didn't record a lot more material.


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Subject: RE: Al O'Donnell?
From: sheila
Date: 09 Oct 12 - 10:26 AM

I remember him singing An Bunnan Buidhe (Yellow Bittern) in Edinburgh in the 60s. I don't think I've heard anyone do it better.


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Subject: RE: Al O'Donnell?
From: musicmick
Date: 09 Oct 12 - 12:00 PM

I remember Al O'Donnel from O'Donaghue's in the late 60's. Al, Pat Carrol, Andy Irvine, Christy Moore, Judith Hitchman, Hughie (the cop, why can't I remember his name? Ain't I still young?). When O'Donaghue's got crowded, we moved down the street to Toner's.
I played a few dates on the same bill with Al, at Slatterey's, in the upstairs bar and, once, in that claoset in the basement.
Please give Al my best.

               Mike Miller (They called me Mick back then)


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Subject: RE: Al O'Donnell?
From: GUEST,dave burton
Date: 04 Apr 13 - 09:14 PM

Hi Al remember me from the days at North Sherwood St Nottingham with Ernie Millward Roy Bacon Bill Geddes Brian Smith & Veronica Alan Scott, not forgetting Yvonne known to us all mas PORTMANTEAU (Travelling Bag) Must not forget Dave Turner, sadly no longer with us.Give me a reply if I've jogged a memory or two.
Dave Burton.


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Subject: RE: Al O'Donnell?
From: MartinRyan
Date: 03 Sep 15 - 04:33 PM

Just heard that Al O'Donnell has died. May he rest in peace.

Regards


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Subject: RE: Al O'Donnell?
From: GUEST,Spike Woods
Date: 05 Sep 15 - 05:19 AM

A very sad day. My feelings go out to all the family. What a loss.We had some good times, though.


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Subject: RE: Al O'Donnell?
From: GUEST,Sean O'Shea
Date: 08 Dec 15 - 07:35 AM

A fantastic singer,guitarist,interpreter,who went that bit further and promoted a depth of Irish material,not equalled by any,in my view.
Really sad to hear this news,albeit belatedly.


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Subject: RE: Al O'Donnell?
From: maeve
Date: 08 Dec 15 - 08:00 AM

MartinRyan started an obituary thread back in September, for those interested: Sept 2015 Obit: Al O'Donnell


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Subject: RE: Info: Irish musician Al O'Donnell
From: akenaton
Date: 08 Dec 15 - 01:45 PM

Ryan's Fancy did a TV Series a long time back and Al guested on it along with Tommy Makem....
Most of the series is available on Youtube.....just type in Ryan's Fancy.


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