Sunday, February 19, 2017

A night of memory and trad

Family, friends, and aficionados of trad — in most cases all epithets interchangeable — were in Fallons back room last evening, writes Brian Byrne, for the Kildare launch of a trad album recorded by Michael Landers and friends Mike Butler on the accordion and Aidan McMahon playing the fiddle.

The event for ‘Yield up the Night Time’ was very much a coming home for Michael, who has lived for many years in South Clare, immersed in the traditional music ethos of that area.

He recalled how important the space they played in last night was to him musically while growing up in the Landers family home just across the lane from Fallons, then Berneys pub.

“We knew this as the Gig Room, where we could come to listen to the likes of Christy Moore, Freddy White, Jimmy Crowley and Bagatelle,” he said. “And believe it or not, you could come to hear Christy Moore for £2, but sometimes I wouldn’t have the £2 and I’d lie in bed with my window open, and I could everything anyhow.”

While Michael, a singer and a guitarist of high skill, has only been playing with Mike and Aidan for just over a year and a half, he said they knew pretty quickly that they were a very good match. “We liked each others’ music, we liked the tempo, we liked the style, and I’m delighted that we made this recording.”

The evening was a most enjoyable mix of vocals and traditional instrumental pieces. Particularly special was Michael’s rendition of ‘John O’Dreams’, a chorus line from which the title of the album comes — ‘Yield up the night time to old John O’Dreams’.

“I learned that from a Christy Moore album about 40 years ago,” he recalled. “And I remember singing it at a ‘Capers’ party around then, when the Town had won.”

(The Capers is its own story, but there were those last night who remembered … and here's a link to the radio documentary I made of the last Capers. It won't stream, you need to download it and play it.)

If you weren’t able to get there last night but would like to get a copy of the album, you can buy it online here.