FolkWorld #77 03/2022
© Veteran Records

My True Love He Dwells on the Mountain

Traditional music from the West of Ireland — Field recordings made in the early 1970s

My true love he dwells on the mountain

Willie Clancy | Vincent Griffin | Chris Droney | Jim & Seamus Donoghue | Gabe O'Sullivan | Festy Conlan | Paddy Bán Ó Broin with Frankie Gavin | Dan O'Dowd | Rita & Sarah Keane and family

Various Artists "My true love he dwells on the mountain", Veteran Records, 2022

This remarkable collection of previously unreleased recordings made in the early 1970s includes 20 tracks of some of finest traditional musicians to be recorded in the West of Ireland: Willie Clancy (Co.Clare), Vincent Griffin (Co.Clare), Chris Droney (Co.Clare), Jim & Seamus Donoghue (Co.Sligo), Gabe O’Sullivan (Co.Galway), Festy Conlan (Co.Galway), Paddy Bán Ó Brion (Dublin) with Frankie Gavin (Co.Galway), Dan O’Dowd (Dublin) and Rita & Sarah Keane (Co.Galway).

Rita & Sarah Keane

Here we have a kaleidoscope of airs, jigs, hornpipes, set-dances and reels played on iconic traditional instruments including, ulleann pipes, fiddle, flute, concertina, accordion, tin whistle and tambourine (before it became re-branded as the Bodhran!)

The recordings were made by Terry Yarnell, a Londoner, who in the 1960s was a member of the Critics study group and the London Singer’s Club, both led by Ewan McColl and Peggy Seeger. It was McColl who inspired Terry’s first field trip to Galway, when he recorded a number of fine Sean-nós singers. A selection of these recordings can be heard on the Veteran album VT162CD ‘Tabhair mo ghrá go Conamara’ - ‘Bring my love to Connemara’.

Terry continued to record in the West of Ireland, particularly searching out musicians in their homes and local pubs, including some just visiting for the summer. He created a remarkable body of recorded performances which are now safely deposited in the British Library Sound Archive in London.

As one Irish commentator has recently commented, “Like the previous recordings I think these capture (and evoke) a time and a place and all the authenticity of field recordings.”

This CD is presented in an attractive eight panel digipak with photographs and biographies of the musicians. Terry Yarnell's collection can be searched via the British Library's Sound website at:

Willie Clancy

Chris Droney

Vincent Griffin

Festy Conlon

Dan O'Dowd

Photo Credits: (1) 'My true love he dwells on the mountain', (unknown/website); (2) Rita & Sarah Keane, (4) Chris Droney, (6) Festy Conlon, (7) Dan O'Dowd, (by Terry Yarnell); (3) Willie Clancy, (by Mal Whyte (courtesy of ITMA)); (5) Vincent Griffin, (courtesy of Comhaltas Traditional Music Archive).

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