Butch Baldassari & John Mock | Music of O'Carolan

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Folk: Celtic Folk World: Celtic Moods: Type: Instrumental
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Music of O'Carolan

by Butch Baldassari & John Mock

Folky Celtic chamber music, with mandolin, guitar, and pennywhistle.
Genre: Folk: Celtic Folk
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Young William Plunkett
4:32 $0.99
2. Carolan's Concerto
3:45 $0.99
3. Eleanor Plunkett
5:07 $0.99
4. George Brabazon
5:05 $0.99
5. Rondo: Planxty Irwin / John O'Connor / Lord Inchiquin
8:20 $0.99
6. Planxty Browne / Planxty Drew / Planxty Mary O'Neill
5:06 $0.99
7. Blind Mary / Sheebeg and Sheemore
4:18 $0.99
8. Carolan's Draught / Hewlett
4:36 $0.99
9. Fanny Power / Baptist Johnston
4:46 $0.99
10. Catherine Nowlan
2:59 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
Butch Baldassari and John Mock have joined forces once again, turning in a collaborative effort on the extensive catalog of Irish harpist/composer Turlough O'Carolan (1670-1737).

These 10 tracks provide 20 tunes that cast some new light on the primitive elegance of O'Carolan's folky chamber music.

This is the second CD for Butch and John.

Their first duets CD was "Cantabile: Duets for Mandolin and Guitar." Released in 1998, Cantibile was was a hit with both critics and fans.



to write a review

Xavier P. for RadioIndy

Excellent Irish folk instrumental CD. Pick up a copy today!
“Music of O’Carolan, Ireland’s Bard” by Butch Baldassari and John Mock is a serene assembly of native Irish folk instrumentals. Elegant compositions paint pictures of peaceful landscapes and historic culture, while imparting listeners with a genuine sense of tranquility and peace. Native instruments such as the Mandolin and Mandola give this CD the authentic sounds of traditional Irish folk music. “Planxy Browne” best demonstrates the authentic feel of this CD, and stands out as extremely captivating and trance-inducing. Production fit-for-the-best adds an undeniable ‘must-have’ tag to this instrumental collection! Fans of world and instrumental tunes will easily become addicted to these unforgettable compositions!

Joe Ross

Successfully and sensitively interprets O’Carolan’s muse & lilting mood
Playing Time – 48:34 -- While the oft-played and beautifully buoyant music of Turlough O’Carolan (1670-1738) is usually presented with harp in the mix, Butch Baldassari and John Mock prove that the splendid Irish melodies can be sensitively interpreted on mandolin, bouzouki, guitar, concertina, whistle and harmonium. The pluck of the mandolin can simulate a harper’s melodic right hand, and a guitar’s arpeggiated chording can achieve the feeling and warmth of a harper’s left. With the exception of “Carolan’s Concerto” and “Catherine Nowlan,” each 4-5 minute track is a medley incorporating 2-3 tunes apiece. Butch and John masterfully showcase their instruments and demonstrate solid playing on them.

Emphasizing authenticity, the twenty tunes in ten tracks are mostly played with an orthodox, straightforward approach that sticks closely to the melodies. I was hoping for a tad more individualism and innovation from these two impressive Nashville-based master musicians. For example, the genesis of two planxties (“George Brabazon” into “Morgan Magan”) gets a little tiring after the same melody comes around multiple times. Perhaps I’m just biased from having often played these common tunes myself. Tastefully rendered with precise notes, Baldassari’s mandolin and bouzouki are the only instruments intertwined in the “Carolan’s Draught” and “Hewlett” set. If John and Butch had wanted a less conservative and more adventurous O’Carolan set, they could have considered even more varied arrangements, diverse instrumentation, guest artists and incorporation of harmonies. They’re simply playing it fairly safe, and that’s fine for their vision of the music. But, wouldn’t it have been fun and inspiring to perhaps hear each compose and present an original planxty (tribute piece) in the style of O’Carolan? Or, how would some of the tunes sounded with mandola, mandocello and perhaps even mandobass multi-tracked into the mix? Harmony and counter-melodies can impart remarkably powerful intensity and contemporary vision into this 300-year-old music. Overall, the partnership safely succeeds in capturing O’Carolan’s muse and lilting mood. Favorite tracks were the Planxty Browne set and the medley of “Fanny Power” and “Baptist John.” The pair also previously collaborated on the 1998 album “Cantabile: Duets for Mandolin and Guitar,” that presented music of Bach, Scarlatti, Beethoven, Sor, Tarrega, and Satie. (Joe Ross)