Martin Hayes and Dennis Cahill – Paddy Fahy’s Reel

Martin Hayes and Dennis Cahill - The Lonesome Touch

Martin Hayes and Dennis Cahill – The Lonesome Touch

Enough of politics and social commentary; today it’s just music for music’s sake. And fabulous music too. I would never claim to be an expert on Irish music but if I were to asked for a starting point, a way into traditional Irish music, I would always recommend Martin Hayes and Dennis Cahill. The music is beautiful, the tunes well chosen and the playing is, needless to say, exquisite.

The music on their albums is traditional but the way they present the music brings it right up to date without straying from the history of the music and the culture from which it has sprung. Martin Hayes has written eloquently about the approach he and Dennis Cahill take to make the music live today. In the liner notes to The Lonesome touch he writes, “In Irish music today there is much debate and division on the issues of continuity versus change and tradition versus innovation. I think it is a mistake to divide these issues as the music is capable of containing all of these parts at once. The real battle is between artistic integrity and the forces that impede creative expression. Traditional Irish music has always experienced change and been enriched by innovation, while at the same time maintaining continuity. The issue that is of utmost importance is that innovation, change, tradition and continuity all be tempered by integrity, humility and understanding.”

To date, I’ve never managed to see Martin Hayes and Dennis Cahill play live. It is one of my musical ambitions. The gig I fancied was one they did at the Irish Embassy in Paris a few years ago. I did not even get to see them when they played in London last month. They appeared at the London Irish Centre – possible a more apposite venue than the Paris Embassy! One day I’ll catch them, one day soon, I hope.

I’ve now come to the end of my Irish season. Next week I’ve planned a seasonal track and then I’ve got a mini series of tracks lined up for January. Watch this space.

Martin Hayes and Dennis Cahill – Paddy Fahy’s Reel

4 thoughts on “Martin Hayes and Dennis Cahill – Paddy Fahy’s Reel

  1. dill

    Hi Andy. I’ve loved the Irish season, especially this one. Season’s greeting to ya.

    Can’t let the moment pass without remembering the good Captain, who shuffled his late last week. He was a beacon and a sign…

  2. Robin Robson / Squatter to his friends .....

    Sitting in the lounge of my sister and brother in law in the southern tip of South Armagh, just south of Newry, with a laptop on my knee. Chanced on an email sent last January by the Skilled Craftsman, and so started to browse through his Irish season: most impressed with the purity of the strings on Martin Hayes’ fiddle! Great!

    Am looking forward to playing some more of the Irish stuff!

    Best wishes to the family and your good self for 2011.

    Hope our paths might cross to enable us to have chinwags about such eclectic topics as Torridonian sandstone, YHA commanders and organisng cross coutnry races in Yarksheer stately home grounds!

  3. Andrew Post author


    And a happy holiday season to you and yours, Dill.

    Sad news about the Captain – he really was a one off, wasn’t he?

  4. Andrew Post author


    Hello Squatter – I’m glad you are enjoying the music.

    This Christmas it has been nearly impossible to fly to Ireland and mains water is the stuff of dreams. However, I’m prepared to bet that there is Guinness and music in the local bar!

    All the best to you and yours for 2011.

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