Saturday, June 30, 2012

The Feekers

The Feekers are a traditional and folk music duo from Ballyfermot, Dublin.
Darren and John have known each other as teenagers when they hung around as friends in nearby Bluebell, but only met up again about 5 years ago to form a band after realising each other’s interest in folk and trad music.
Darren Lynch (Vocals/Octave Mandolin) and John Keenan (Banjo/Whistles) have played together for a number of years around numerous pub sessions, gigs and festivals, and plan to release an album in the near future.
Darren started off playing music after finishing a successful amateur boxing career with Crumlin Boxing Club. It was then in his late teens that he picked up the banjo and then later the octave mandolin and mandola. He
learned from some of the great folk and trad musicians in the area: that included Tom Moran, Liam O'Neill, Darach de Brun and John Lane. He then went on to play and record with the bands The Broadside Merchants, So-Ranna and Tam-Lin before forming Feekers with John in 2007.
Darren plays a mixture of folk songs from Ireland, Scotland, England and America, and is influenced by The Dubliners, Planxty, The Fureys and Sweeney's Men.
John plays Irish tunes on the tenor banjo that he learned from his grandfather John Keenan Snr. John has been
playing banjo since the age of 10 and has also learned from his uncles who he has also played with over the years. John's uncle Paddy Keenan plays the uileann pipes and played with the Bothy Band, and John's other uncle Johnny is known today for his banjo playing and for the festival set up in his honor 'The Johnny Keenan Banjo Festival'.

The Feekers form a unique and fresh folk sound that is rooted in tradition and this sound gets across in their first album 'Tarbolten' which is due to be released on 1st May 2012. The album will initially be available from
Claddagh Records in Temple Bar and from Monastery Music in Clondalk

Monday, June 25, 2012


Another sea shanty

Thursday, June 21, 2012


The term tarantella groups a number of different folk dances characterized by a fast upbeat tempo, usually in 6/8 time (sometimes 18/8 or 4/4), accompanied by tambourines. It is among the most recognized of traditional Italian music. The specific dance name varies with every region, for instance tammuriata in Campania, pizzica in the Salento region, Sonu a ballu in Calabria. Tarantella is popular in Italy as well as in parts of Argentina.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Sir Roger de Coverly (Slip Jig)

Roger de (or of) Coverley (also Sir Roger de Coverley or ...Coverly) is the name of an English country dance and a Scottish country dance (also known as The Haymakers). An early version was published in The Dancing Master, 9th edition (1695)[1]. The Virginia Reel is probably related to it. The name refers to a fox, and the dance's steps are reminiscent of a hunted fox going in and out of cover.
It is mentioned in Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol (1843) when the Ghost of Christmas Past shows Scrooge a party from his apprenticeship with Mr. Fezziwig. "...the great effect of the evening came after the Roast and Boiled, when the fiddler ... struck up 'Sir Roger de Coverley'. Then old Fezziwig stood out to dance with Mrs. Fezziwig." In the 1951 film Scrooge, based on Dickens's story and starring Alastair Sim in the title role, the fiddler is shown playing the tune at an energetic tempo during the party scene. It also figures in William Makepeace Thackeray's short story "The Bedford-Row Conspiracy" as the musical center piece of a political feast pitting the Whigs against the Torys and in Arnold Bennett's novel "Leonora" as music considered more suitable for a ball by the older gents to the likes of the Blue Danube Waltz.
It is mentioned also in the book Silas Marner by George Eliot, when the fiddler at the Cass New Year's Eve party plays it to signal the beginning of the evening dancing; it is furthermore mentioned in the children's book The Rescuers by Margery Sharp.
The dance plays a part in the Dorothy Sayers short story "The Queen's Square", and is mentioned in Washington Irving's The Sketch Book of Geoffrey Crayon.
Sir Roger de Coverly also gets a mention in "Stig of the Dump" by Clive King when Barney and his sister attend a fancy dress party.
It is also mentioned in D H Lawrence's Sons and Lovers (1913), where Gertrude Morel is reported never to have learned the dance.
The tune was used by Frank Bridge in 1922 as the basis of a work for strings titled Sir Roger de Coverly (A Christmas Dance). H. E. Bates used the name Sir Roger to refer to a real hunted fox in the novel Love for Lydia.
Sir Roger de Coverley was also the name of a character in The Spectator (1711). An English squire of Queen Anne's reign, Sir Roger exemplified the values of an old country gentleman, and was portrayed as lovable but somewhat ridiculous ('rather beloved than esteemed') (Spectator no. 2), making his Tory politics seem harmless but silly. He was said to be the grandson of the man who invented the dance.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Amour est Bleu

"L'amour est bleu" (English title: "Love Is Blue") is a song whose music was composed by André Popp, and whose lyrics were written by Pierre Cour, in 1967. Brian Blackburn later wrote English-language lyrics for it. First performed in French by Greek singer Vicky Leandros (appearing as Vicky) as the Luxembourgian entry in the Eurovision Song Contest 1967, it has since been recorded by many other musicians, most notably French orchestra leader Paul Mauriat, whose familiar instrumental version became the only number-one hit by a French artist to top the Billboard Hot 100 in America.
The song describes the pleasure and pain of love in terms of colours (blue and grey) and elements (water and wind). The English lyrics ("Blue, blue, my world is blue …") focus on colours only (blue, grey, red, green, and black), using them to describe elements of lost love. The English version by Vicky Leandros also appeared as "Colours of Love" in some locations including the UK.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Ben (Michael Jackson)

"Ben" is a song written by Don Black and composed by Walter Scharf for the 1972 film of the same name (the sequel to the 1971 killer rat film Willard). It was performed in the film by Lee Montgomery and by Michael Jackson over the closing credits. Jackson's single, recorded for the Motown label in 1972, spent one week at the top of the U.S. pop chart. It also reached number-one on the Australian pop chart, spending eight weeks at the top spot. The song also later reached a peak of number seven on the British pop chart.[2] "Ben" won a Golden Globe for Best Song. It was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Original Song in 1973, losing to "The Morning After" from The Poseidon Adventure; Jackson performed the song in front of a live audience at the ceremony. The song was Jackson's first #1 solo hit.