Shortly after Clare County Library launched the online Singers & Songs of County Clare from the Carroll Mackenzie Collection, we were approached by Barry Taylor who wondered if we would be interested in his collection of live recordings of Clare musicians from the 1960s and later. When we took a look at the collection we recognised its value immediately, and began work on a new music of Clare project based on live recordings; when Jim Carroll and Pat Mackenzie donated their song collection to us, they had also donated a substantial music collection, and the music collection of John Joe Healy which they had been caretaking.
The result is this new online collection of traditional Irish music, played by Clare musicians, recorded from the 1960s to the 1990s, totalling over 100 sessions with over 60 hours of music in total.
As well as the actual recorded sessions, names of tunes are included and the timing for each tune in each session is also included on each session’s webpage.
We are extremely grateful to Barry Taylor, John Joe Healy, Pat Mackenzie and Jim Carroll for donating their collections for this project. We are also grateful to Peter Laban and Pat Mackenzie for allowing us to use some photographs from their collections, and to Mary Custy and Paddy Comber for their help in identifying tunes.
Musicians featured in this project include Paddy Canny, Bobby Casey, Willie Clancy, Martin 'Junior' Crehan, Elizabeth (Mrs) Crotty, Michael Downes, Martin Hayes, P Joe Hayes, John Kelly, Patrick Kelly, Paddy Killourhy, Séamus MacMathuna, Peadar O'Loughlin, Seán Reid, Micho Russell, Seamus Ennis, Martin 'Junior' Crehan, Miko Doyle, Thady Casey, James Flynn, JC Talty, Angela Crehan, Ita Crehan, Paddy Fahy, Martin Talty, PJ Crotty, Christy Dixon, Martin O'Brien, Tommy McCarthy, Kevin Burke, John Joe Healy, Tommy McCarthy Jnr., Stevie O'Halloran, John Kelly, Jnr., Joe Ryan, Joe Rynne, Sean Keane, Kitty Hayes, Peter Laban, Paddy Galvin, JP Downes, JC Talty, Michael Falsey, Michael Sexton, and Ita Crehan.
Sessions were recorded in Doolin, Mullagh, Ennis, Feakle, Coore, Cree, Tulla, Miltown Malbay, Annageeragh, Spanish Point, Kiltannon, Lahinch, Crosses of Annagh and Knocknahilla in County Clare, and in Dublin and London.
This new project adds greatly to the traditional music services of Clare County Library; the library offers a wide range of music for lending throughout the county, and we have had a very strong traditional music collection (tapes & CDs) in our branch library in Miltown Malbay for many years.
In 2012, we launched the Music of Clare project on the library website, offering a sample of the rich musical culture of the county of Clare, featuring traditional tunes associated with County Clare, played by musicians who are from the county or who have lived in it for many years. The tunes were accompanied by transcriptions designed to help anyone who wishes to learn the basic notes of a tune.
In March 2015, we launched the online Singers & Songs of County Clare from the Carroll Mackenzie Collection, featuring over 400 songs from over 40 Clare singers, collected by Jim Carroll and Pat Mackenzie in London and west Clare over a period of 40 years, with transcriptions of song lyrics accompanying each recording, and various playlists for easy listening. The project was also enhanced by the addition of articles on singers and the song tradition in County Clare.
And now we are delighted to launch the Traditional Music of Clare: Live Recordings project, featuring live recordings of Irish traditional music sessions from the 1960s to the 1990s, from the archived tapes of three outstanding collections of Clare music: the BR Taylor Collection, the John Joe Healy Collection and the Carroll Mackenzie Collection.
Maureen Comber, Executive Librarian,
Anthony Edwards, Senior Executive Librarian,
Library ICT & Information Services Department,
Clare County Library,
Image above shows Barry Taylor and Michael Downes, photo by Pat Mackenzie.