Album being produced by Alec Finn (ex DeDanann), with special guests including singer John Prine, singer/actor Brendan Gleeson, singer guitarist Sean Garvey, Maurice Lennon (ex Stockton's Wing), singer Andrew Murray plus family and friends
1. Mother and Child / Big John’s / The Hop Down (Reels)
I learned the first tune from the playing of John Williams, the accordion and concertina player from Chicago. Walter Sammon, an old friend of mine from Kilmeena, Newport, Co. Mayo was the source for the second reel in the set and the third tune came from the playing of Rita and Sarah Keane of Caherlistrane, Co. Galway.
Mary: Accordion, Steve Cooney: Guitars / Percussion
2. Bright Early Mornings (Song)
I learned this song from Teresa Lally of Derryveeney, Tourmakeady, Co. Mayo. Pete Seeger composed the song Quiet Early Morning inspired by a collection of the same name by Dylan Thomas. In typical folk traditional style the title was interpreted by Teresa and I as Bright Early Mornings!
Mary: Vocals, Steve Cooney: Guitars, Sharon Shannon: Accordion, Matt Crannitch: fiddle, Trevor Hutchinson: Bass, Frankie Lane: Dobro
3. June Apple / Muddy Road / Give the Fiddler A Dram (Old Timey Set)
The first tune was given to me by Frankie Lane and the other two I learned from the playing of the English based ‘Deighton Family’
Mary: Accordion, Kate Staunton and Sharon Shannon: Fiddles, Frankie Lane: Guitars / Mandolin,
Martin Gavin: Bodhrán.
4. What Would You Do Love? (Song)
I first heard this haunting song during the 1970s in Cullen’s Bar in Galway sung by Bríd Dooley, a beautiful singer from Corofin, Co. Galway. It was originally recorded by Delia Murphy and Richard Hayward in 1938. I am joined on this track by a man whose singing I’ve admired for many years,Andrew Murray from Inishbofin.
Mary: Vocals / Accordion, Andrew: Vocals, Steve Cooney: Guitars, Trevor Hutchinson: Bass.
5. Trip it up the Stairs / Michael Burke’s (Jigs)
I learned the first tune in this set from my mother, Kathleen Staunton who played the box for us when we were children. I’ve been playing it ever since! The second jig I learned from the playing of Michael Burke, a great boxplayer from Inishbofin.
Mary: Accordion, Alec Finn: Bouzouki, John Maloney: Bodhrán
6. Blue Ball (Song)
This is a version of a song composed by Jessie Winchester which he called ‘Defying Gravity’. I first heard it during my school days from the singing of Emmylou Harris. It has since taken on a life of its own and has become one of my favourite songs.
Mary; Vocals, Steve Cooney: Guitars, Sharon Shannon: Accordion, Matt Crannitch: Fiddle, Frankie Lane:Dobro, Trevor Hutchinson: Bass
7. Grogan’s Hornpipe (Hornpipe)
This four part hornpipe came from the playing of a fine musician from Kilkelly, Co. Mayo called Des Grogan. Des often played the accordion with many of the best of Co. Mayo’s musicians in Jack Halpin’s pub in Ballyhaunis and I have fond memories of the many great sessions there during the 1980s.
Mary: Accordion, Alec Finn: Bouzouki, Frankie Lane: Dobro.
8. Inishcarra (Slow Air)
Desi O’Halloran from Inishbofin is one of the finest singers and fiddle players I’ve ever heard and he was my source for this beautiful slow air. I heard him singing this song ‘many moons ago’ in the Larches Pub in Tourmakeady.
Mary: Accordion, Steve Cooney: Synthesiser
9. Sarah’s Delight / House on the Hill (Reels)
The first tune in this set came from the playing of Paddy O’Brien, the great accordion player from Co Offaly who now lives in America. He recorded it with fiddle player James Kelly on an album called ‘Spring in the Air’. The second reel was composed by Joe Thoma, a fiddle player from Kenmare Co Kerry.
Mary: Accordion, Alec Finn: Bouzouki, Frankie Lane: Guitar, Martin Gavin: Bodhrán.
10. The Green Fields of Mayo (Song)
This track is dedicated to the memory of my grandmother Nora Staunton from Cappaduff, Tourmakeady. She taught me this song when I was very young.
Mary: Vocals. Alec Finn: Bouzouki
11. Cailleach an Airgid / An Rógaire Dubh (Jigs)
My father, Mattie Staunton played the fiddle and these were two of his favourite tunes. I learned them originally from his fiddle playing but the versions I play here were inspired by Frankie’s nifty Dobro playing. Many jigs in the Irish music tradition have song words to them and these are two lovely examples.
Mary: Accordion, Alec: Bouzouki, Frankie: Dobro.
12. Donncha Bán (Song)
This Co. Mayo song is particularly associated with Ballinrobe where its composition is attributed to the sister of Donncha Bán. In the song she laments the death of her brother who has been wrongfully hanged for horse stealing.
13. Magic Foot (Barn Dance)
This happy tune comes from the mandolin playing of American musician, Russ Barnberg and is published by Laughing Hands Music.
Mary: Accordion, Sharon Shannon : Fiddle, Steve Cooney: Guitar