John Kelly was born in the district of Rehy West, County Clare, and for over thirty years was a force in Irish music – he was a member of Sean O’ Riada’s Ceoltoiri Cualainn, of the Castle Ceilidh Band, and of Ceoltoiri Laighean, and regular musician at respected Dublin sessions.
John’s fiddling is in the relaxed Clare style and his concertina playing is spikier, with subtle variations of notes, the occasional harmonic effect, and again that off-beat emphasis.
John taught at the Willie Clancy Scoil Eigse, and supported the Tradition Club held on Wednesdays at Slattery’s, just a few doors away from his Dublin home: he was recorded by John Tams and Neil Wayne in January 1974 and by Tony Engle and Patrick Hayes in March & April 1975.
1 Paddy on the Turnpike – reel (concertina)
2 a The Bunch of Rushes – reel (fiddle), b The Bunch of Rushes – reel (concertina)
3 John Kelly’s Slide/ Tom Keane’s Reel (concertina)
4 a Blackberry Blossoms – reel (concertina), b The Spike Island Lasses – reel (double-reed concertina)
5 The Heathery Breeze – reel (concertina)
6 Delia Keane’s Jig (concertina)
7 The Blacksmith’s Charm – hornpipe (concertina)
8 We were drinking and kissing the Ladies/ Old Tipperary – jigs (fiddle)
9 Rocking the Baby to Sleep – air (fiddle)
10 Eddie Dunn’s – reel (concertina)
11 The Fishermen’s Hornpipe (concertina)
12 The Sister Reels – Carney’s / Gilbert Clancy’s Favourite / The Ravelled Hank of Yarn (fiddle)
13 The Crooked Road to Dublin and The Duke of Leinsterâ€™s Wife – reels (concertina)
14 The West Cork Reel (concertina)
15 a The Ivy Leaf – reel (concertina), b The Ivy Leaf – reel (fiddle)
16 The Flogging Reel (double-reed concertina)
17 Scattery Island Slide (double-reed concertina)
18 The Ebb Tide – hornpipe (concertina)
19 The Blackbird – air/hornpipe/set dance (fiddle)
20 The Bunch of Keys – reel (fiddle)
21 Lord Wellington’s Reel (concertina)
Produced by John Tams, Neil Wayne and Tony Engle.
First issued by Topic Records 1975.