Conor McCarthy Mullagh Kilreekil Loughrea Co. Galway  Mobile  Intl + 353 (0)87 9189642 

 email conor@irishaccordion.com  conormccarthy@eircom.net Web: www.irishaccordion.com   























































"...A Stunning Box Album..." Irish Music Magazine July 2000


Selection Box

Conor McCarthy~Box 

Alph-Duggan Guitar/Vocals

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About the Music About the Musicians  Ace & Deuce .Credits Contact info .Cd Tracks

Listen to The Slow Lane Listen to The Shores of Lough Breda

The Spirit of Our Music

.................................Conor McCarthy © April 2000....................................


About the Music


Reels ~ An tAiseirí (The Ressurection) The Bucks of Oranmore / Sally Gardens

These two tunes were very popular when I was young. However, their over-popularity contributed to their demise. Hopefully they are coming back the full circle again.

Jigs ~ Macs Weirs (The Nightingale / The First Trout* )

The Nightingale is one of Sean Ryans and I rate it as one of the finest tunes around. I composed ‘The First Trout’ in 1998. 'The First Trout' was caught on The Fergus at Macs Weirs. This Selection is dedicated to Mick McNamara.

Hornpipes ~ Kellehers Kitchen (Galway Bay / Garrykennedy Castle)

I first heard Galway Bay on ‘The Liffey Banks’ by Tommy Potts in 1985. This album is one of my all-time favourites. He played the Drunken Sailor after it, an incredible piece of music. The first time I played Garrykennedy Castle (one of Paddy O’Briens) was in Ennistymon with Michael Kelleher in his Kitchen, a real University of Irish Music.

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Jigs ~ Two Magpies (Banish Misfortune / Bobby Caseys )

Banish Misfortune has many different interpretations. I like to use F naturals at the end of the run. ‘Bobby Caseys’ sounds like a Jig version of Eileen Currans Reel

Air ~ Miltown Dawn (A Stór mo chroí )

Air from the song 'A Stór mo Chroí', which is very popular in County Clare. Catherine & Aidan Looney always call for this lonesome air at Dawn, just before the 'last' set of reels.

Reels ~ The Slow Lane (Lane to the Glen / The Blockers )

'Lane to the Glen' is one of Reaveys finest, played with 'The Blockers' which is from Sean Ryan. There is a lot of sweetly composed music in these two tunes, best suited to the 'Slow Lane'.

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Strathspeys ~ Smokey Keyboard (The Laird of Drumblair / Drumnagarry)

I heard Tommy & Siobhan Peoples playing these years ago. You wouldn’t want to have cold fingers when playing these two.

Reels ~ My Left Hand (Hanlys Tweed / Paddy Faheys )

These tunes are played without any accompaniment, except the natural accompaniment of the left (base) hand.

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Air/Jig/Reel ~ The Scource (Caoimnleach Glas an Fhomhar / The Killarney Boys of Pleasure)

After many approaches Johnny McCarthy, My Father and teacher, eventually agreed to record a track. He walked into the Studio, took out his box, played his selection once and said “Good Luck Now” It made our four hours work so far ( with no tracks recorded), seem worse. Thankfully, he brought luck and we had nine tracks recorded that evening.

Song ~ Voicebox (Sliabh Gallion Braes) Vocals by Alph

This Northern Song tells the sad story of emigration, the lands and the people our ancestors had to leave behind them due to the 'Cruel-Hearted' landlords. We use just the ‘Box’ and the ‘Voice’.  for effect.

Reels ~ O’Dowd on the Double to the Doctor (O’Dowds / Dr. Gilberts )

I prefer to play O’Dowds as a Double Reel, I have paired it with Dr. Gilberts, one of those reels that seems to have a mind of its own.  Before the tunes were decided for the recording, Alph said “anything but Dr. Gilberts” so I couldn’t resist! 

Air ~ A Mother came calling (The Fairy Child )

When a child died, it was understood that the fairies put a changeling in its place. Mick Flynn, I heard singing this song. A mother calls to the fairies to ask why they took the young boy. Mick recorded this song in his captivating Album ‘A Singers Dozen

This air is dedicated to my Son, Peter McCarthy RIP

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Reels The Butcher Brennan (Paddy Lynns Delight / The Ceilier / Faheys)

Paddy Lynns Delight starts this reel selection followed by 'The Ceilier' which is one of Ed Reaveys. To “make your Ceili” in the Cavan area means to pay a visit on a neighbour, hence the name ‘Ceilier’. The last tune is one from the huge collection of Fahey tunes. These tunes are for Tommy & Frances Brennan.


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About the Musicians


Conor McCarthy is a name that is very familiar in County Clare Music Circles.   His music has brought him from his home in Ennis, to Britain, France and America.  At last he has decided to record a Solo CD, which is of an exceptional standard.  His music has always been noted for natural individualism, style and quality and he is currently one of the leading members of The Kilfenora Ceili Band.  His sensitivity on the button box and his use of the left hand are a hallmark of his playing, as is his amazing technical ability.  His handling of the Slow Airs are absolutely masterful and his left hand is incredible here.  Listen for the Bagpipe effect on the Strathspeys.   The Jigs and Reels range from the very subtle & sweet to the Vibrant and energetic.  Great to here ‘The Bucks’ again with such freshness.  His selection of Tunes is very appropriate for the album title, Reels Jigs Hornpipes Airs Strathspeys and Song, all extracting the very best from this great Box Player.

Conors father, Johnny McCarthy form Ennis, is well known for his steady, flowing style of music and also for his slow~air playing. Johnny plays one selection on the CD, an air, then into a jig (a version of the air) and then into a reel.                           Alph Duggan (Dublin) has been in Ennis for many years now and his music is always in big demand.  His style of Guitar Playing is very sweet and wholesome, always hanging at the right balance. His backing is always busy and interesting but never obtrusive.  He sings Sliabh Galion Brae with box only accompaniment which is unusual and worth listening to.  Together they blend superbly and create a fascinating  album of craft, style and brilliance, a must, for anyone interested in Traditional Irish Music in General.

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Purchase the Cd/Tape Selection Box

Send P.O. Cheque To

 Conor McCarthy ~ Mullagh ~ Loughrea ~ Co.Galway ~ Ireland


CD Selection Box or Ace & Deuce  €20   / £14 ( Sterling) or $20 incl Postage.

Cassette Selection Box or Ace and Deuce €15  /  £10 ( Sterling) or $15 incl Postage

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Thank You For Your Interest in My Music


THE IRISH TIMES 22/07/00 (Mic Moroney)

"Theres needle sharp uplift to this box-player, with his snappy off-beats and Shannonesque note-thrums; often slithering down the incidental slopes of a phrase, leaving tunes careening like ninepins, but still sitting up and roaring for porter. He plays gorgeous tunes such as Sean Ryan's The Nightingale, and further head-jiggers a Tommy Peoples Strathspey. Alphie Duggan guitars him along reverberating a Cuil-Aodha-Style Northern Song... "

See Full Review at www.muse.ie/040800/reviews/revu_mccarthy.html

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IRISH MUSIC MAGAZINE July 2000 (Andy Ryan)

"..Now comes Conor McCarthy, riding through the fresh May Morning Dew with a Stunning Box Album. Like a good bike ride it's invigorating without becoming tiring, Conor takes the high roads with assured cadence, speeds down hill in the right gear, never saddle sore, he doesn't push the machine beyonf its limits, he glides along through reels, jigs and a strathspey. The great test of any traditional player is of course how they handle those local parish by-ways, tunes we all know so well. Take a dip into track four to see how a master can freshness to the oldest of journeys, Banish Misfortune combines with Bobby Casey's, this boy has his head way above the ditches and he can smell the fresh mown grass. Slow airs provide the necessary balance, A Stór mo Chroí under the guise of Miltown Dawn, is gently saddened by the merest of touches of the left-hand basses. Track 12, A Mother Came Calling, a lamebt for Conor's own son Peter McCarthy (RIP) is so full of emotion and musicality it's by far the best track on the album. There's soul in the album because it's a magical cycle ride through Conor's Heart. "

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Earle Hitchner, Wall Street Journal & Irish Echo

“Kilfenora Ceili Band accordeonist, Conor McCarthy steps out proudly on his own with a solo album of rare flair and finesse. A great treat for those who know the real thing in Irish traditional music when they hear it!”

John O'Regan

“Always one for the hidden note, and the subtle turn of phrase, Conor McCarthy’s playing is imbued with a confidence, power and assurance”

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Thanks to:

Annemarie McCormack, Kevin & Jane McCarthy, Connie & Johnny McCarthy,

Maura McCormack, , Schiafra &  Orlaith ní Ealaigh Martin O’Malley,

Matt Purcell, Martin O'Malley, Frankie O’Gorman, Tony Hartnet Alphaset,

Anne Rynne, Tony Mohan, Andy, Declan Brandon, Tommy & Francis Brennan,

And thanks also to Jim Nolan who kept me playing during the Dark Winter.

Special Thanks to:

Johnny McCarthy for teaching me the music, Annemarie McCormack for her encouragement and advice and to Alph Duggan for his patience, humour, dedication and genius.



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Produced by Conor McCarthy & annemarie McCormack

All tracks Trad. arranged by Conor McCarthy

Recorded and Mixed at Harmony Row Studios

Souind Engineer~Martin O’Malley

Instruments Box / Guitar

Digitally Mastered By Matt Purcell at Digi-Matt-Japan

Graphic Design by Alphaset  Design Studio

Twin Records Ireland  TRICD002

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Contact Info:

Conor McCarthy Kincora Park

Ennis  Co.Clare Ireland

 Mobile Intl  +353 87 9189642



All correspondence Welcome

Conor McCarthy © May 2000

But For The Grace of God……….

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The Spirit of our Music

The music we sow, feed and harvest,

From seeds of famine times,

When the lanlords Shipped our life,

But couldn’t alter minds


She watched in tears, the fading

The Winter of our People,

Whispering music to the dying,

Giving soul-life to the feeble,


She haunts us indiscriminately

And casts her spell anon

She can summon the tune to ploy us with

And tease ‘till we succumb


In every smokey corner

She tickles bows and feet,

In the air of every session

She breathes a soothing beat


The tired old man alone at night

With fiddle  and compositions,

Conjures up the Spirit friend,

And plays from generations


So salute her when you play tonight

Where groups of us are massed

You play not the for the ears of one

But for the souls of Ireland past


Conor McCarthy © April 2000


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