Doon Ceili Band | Around the World For Sport

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United States - Minnesota

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World: Celtic Folk: Traditional Folk Moods: Type: Instrumental
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Around the World For Sport

by Doon Ceili Band

The Doon Ceili Band honors the great musical traditions of Ireland with wonderful ensemble playing and tasteful settings of well known and rare tunes.
Genre: World: Celtic
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. John Brennan's-The Ballymahon-Mrs. Crotty's
2:42 album only
2. What Ails You?-Get Up Old Woman and Shake Yourself-Come In From
2:53 album only
3. The Capelhouse Reel-Julia Clifford's-Mary O'Neill's Fancy
3:14 album only
4. To Daunton Me-Hawkes
3:14 album only
5. Sergeant Cahill's-Behind the Bush in the Garden-Smash the Window
2:52 album only
6. McGovern's-Captain Kelly's-The Guns of the Magnificient Seven
3:08 album only
7. The Foggy Morning-Ellis's Jig-Jug of Brown Ale
3:34 album only
8. Around the World for Sport-The Speckled Hen-Miss McGuiness
3:06 album only
9. The Battle of Aughrim
3:19 album only
10. Tom Bawn's-The Rising Sun-Bill Maley's Reel
2:48 album only
11. Joe Bane's-The Goat's Polka
2:38 album only
12. The Cocktail-The Pretty Girls of the Village-The Piper on Horseb
2:50 album only
13. Give Us a Drink of Water-Dever the Dancer-The Highway to Kilkenn
2:40 album only
14. Mrs. Crotty's-The Lass of Carracastle-The Cavan Reel
3:07 album only
15. The Dew on the Grass
4:45 album only
16. Paddy Fahy's-The Hungry Rocks-The House in the Glen
3:01 album only
17. The Portuguese Waltz
2:41 album only
18. The Tailor's Thimble-The Pigtown Reel-John Byrth's
2:25 album only
19. Jackie Roche's Favorite-The Kerry Jig-The Humours of Rahey
3:06 album only


Album Notes
Traditional bands are generally not about making headlines, they’re about making music. But with any luck, the debut recording from The Doon Céilí Band, “Around the World for Sport,” just might help put the thriving Twin Cities Irish music scene on the map.

Seeds for The Doon Céilí Band were being sown long before some band members were even born. As a teenager in 1960s Ireland, co-founder Paddy O’Brien spent a lot of time with his ear glued to the radio, listening to traditional music. “That time, from the late Fifties through the mid-Sixties, was a time of great opening up, musically speaking,” O’Brien says. “With everything that was on the radio, and a bit later on the television, it was the first time we were really aware of all the different local céilí bands, and of the regional styles they captured, both in their repertoire and in the way they played. It was a revelation.”

Throughout the 1960s and 1970s, Paddy immersed himself in music, traveling the length and breadth of Ireland to meet and learn from older players. He spent time with some of the legendary musicians of his era, playing with legendary groups like Ceoltoiri Laighean and the seminal Castle Céilí Band, a Dublin-based group with deep West Clare roots.

Upon his arrival in the Twin Cities in 1983, Paddy was impressed with the quality of the local musicians, and with their enthusiasm for the older music. The Twin Cities has a long tradition of supporting céilí band music, from the Irish immigrants who played for dances at Saint Paul’s Commercial Club during the Fifties and Sixties, through the folk revival of the Seventies and Eighties, which spawned respected groups like the Blackthorn Band and the formidable Northern Star Céilí Band.

So when The Doon first came together in the spring of 2003, the idea for the band had actually been percolating for some time, and that was to learn and play some fine old traditional tunes that had been sorely neglected in recent years. For inspiration, band members turned to Paddy, who carried with him the repertoire and styles belonging to that older generation of traditional musicians, groups like the Castle Ceili Band and the Lough Gowna Céilí Band, and individual players whose names are legend in Irish music: John Kelly, Paddy Cronin, Micho Russell, and Joe Cooley, among others.

But repertoire alone wasn’t everything; the sound of the band was also important. The Doon started very consciously with a solid foundation of flute and fiddle, the dominant instruments in Irish céilí bands of old. The current lineup features Laura MacKenzie, Kate Dowling, and Brian Miller on flute, with Django Amerson and Jode Dowling on fiddle. The melody gets additional heft from Paddy O’Brien on button accordion, and the whole sound is ably underscored by piano accompaniment from Sean Egan.

The Doon Céilí Band has been rehearsing regularly for the past three years, sitting once a week around various members’ dining room tables. They work at learning tunes very carefully—note for note—and on capturing creative settings and phrasing that bring out the character of a particular melody. They’ve invested long hours in developing the unison style that showcases the band rather than individual players. Strangely enough, it was while they were working away building that solid blend of flute, fiddle, accordion and piano, that the band discovered they had plenty of room for individual expression within the overall sound. They’ve also worked out a few songs to feature performances from singers MacKenzie and Miller.

After receiving an enthusiastic reception from crowds at the Irish Fair of Minnesota and at IrishFest in Milwaukee, The Doon Céilí Band set out to make its first recording, working with Shanachie Records, the prestigious traditional label that has been home to renowned Irish traditional groups like Planxty, DeDanann, Clannad, and Solas.

Listen to a few cuts from their debut recording, “Around the World for Sport,” and you’ll hear notes that call to mind the great Irish céilí bands from forty and fifty years ago. If you’re a scholar of the music you might notice a definite West Clare tilt in the clean, uncluttered approach to melody. More casual listeners will just hear great foot-tapping, spirit-moving music.



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