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2004


Par Kristoffersson posted these photos of his visit to Connemara on the Chiff & Fipple message board. The two gentlemen photographed are Seán McKiernan and Tommy Canavan. Tommy is playing a Kennedy set and Seán is playing the Patsy Touhey Taylor set. Some great close ups here of the Taylor set and a modification Mike Carney did on the stock. He added a key to allow the bag to deflate rapidly.

I received a question about the key on the main stock. Here's the reply I sent. Please let me know of any updates or corrections:
"That key was put on there to prevent "valve fart" .... it allows air to escape quickly from the set through that hole thus allowing the set to deflate faster and avoid any "uncomfortable" situations ;)

Mike Carney added this to Patsy Touhey's set many years ago after he inherited it. It's not believed that this is an original feature that the Taylor's used."

Carel Lanters sent me these three photos. Here's what he had to say: "Here I send you some picture's of Rob van Dijk playing his “Ned” White (1810-1879) uilleann pipes set during a performance in the Marienburgchapel in Nijmegen in the project "zucht" (sigh) Pieces of this set were discovered under the floor of a house near Limerick. At the backround one of the sculptures of my hand and photography by Paul Donker Duyvis"
Received this photo from Kynch O'Kaine from Florida. His email said:

"Me and my habitual make eye contact (ya can't take the Jazzman outa the Irishman :) .......which paid off for transitions, as most of what I could see was the bloody HARP. Paddy said, ".....next time you'll sit by me!" I answered, ."...NEXT TIME??? Alright!!!"

This picture is great, as the other guest, & the dancers are not in veiw!!!! ......something to always be remembered this was. the mic in front of me (btw) was placed there by Kevin Conneff (bohdran). Otherwise, I'd a been playing to the air and not the house. To think I'd play with the Chieftains, much less strike up a freindship with Paddy Maloney is mind blowing.

Kynch gives the band the Evil Eye after the mix up the 4&5th part of the 6 parter ..."The Grey Goose!

Enjoy..I certianly did!

KPO"


Here we have some great high resolution photographs of Stuart Hall's new set of pipes. They are, of course, a B Geoff Wooff. Some nice details of the mastadon ivory here too. Here's what he wrote on the Chiff & Fipple website:

"OK, so here are shots of my pipes put together and ready for action. Actually, they've been seeing quite a lot of action over the past week. They are a twin of Patrick D'Arcy's set: a Wooff B set, in ebony with nickel silver and mammoth ivory mounts. First, the set, in its inherent splendor.

Next, here's a nice shot of the top of the chanter (though not the chanter top), showing the nice ivory work, and a shot of Geoff's maker's mark.

Here's an OK pic of the regs, at a jaunty angle.

And here, just for fun, is a closeup of the bellows cheeks. Geoff used spalted elm, a really nice timber in its own right, and (since I'd bought the tusk he used myself in California), he made a rather decadent ivory inlet, and I just think it's cool.

I hope you enjoy the shots as much as I enjoy these pipes . . . really, a work of art!

Stuart



Tommy Martin, the Dublin piper currently residing in St. Louis, Missouri, sent me some pictures from his collection along with some oldies worth a look. Included here is one of the St. Louis Tionól gang, his Johnny Bourke/Kevin Thompson machine with his Ian Mackenzie C chanter. There's a classic photo there of three young pipers, can you name them? Highlight this section for the answers: [L to R: Eamonn Lane, Mick O'Brien and Gay McKeon] and a poster from around 1990/91.

Tommy presents the photos: The flute player Eamonn De Barra beating me around the head with a pepper grinder ala Al Capone. Then theres De Barra again, myself, Neillidh Mulligan and my sister Jacqui on fiddle playing in the Cobblestone. The pipes are a Eugene Lamb set belonging to Mike Mullins here in St. Louis. Theres another group pic of Chris Weddle on Bodhran, Me, Andrew O'Brien ((Micks brother) on Fiddle and Eileen Gannon on Harp, Smithwicks, Stout, Babycham or whatevers goin'. This was taken by piper Jonathan Cooper at the Friday night concert of the Tionol here.

Also included is a great old shot of Patsy Touhey playing for some dancers at the Worlds Fair in St. Louis early in the 20th century. Tommy says: "I don't know who's the young fella with him, maybe a young Tom Ennis??” Maybe Jim McGuire can tell us more about this? Jim?
Speaking of Patsy Touhey, I received a photograph from New Jersey piper Dan McNamara. Dan said in his email:

"My name is Dan McNamara and I'm a beginning uilleann piper from New Jersey. I play a Gallagher half set and I take lessons from Bill Ochs in New York.

One of the great things about Bill is that - in addition to teaching me the pipes - he teaches me the history and "legend" behind traditional irish music....stories of Seamus Ennis, Micho Russell, Johnny Doran, Leo Rowsome and others - including the great Patsy Touhey.

Bill mentioned that Patsy was buried in St. Raymond's cemetery in the Bronx. I had the day off today with my two boys, so we set out to find Patsy's grave, with the hope that some of his "mojo" would rub off on me and my two boys. I thought you might enjoy some pictures of our "find".

Regards,

Dan McNamara
"
A friend of mine, fiddler Katy Salvidge, was travelling around Ireland last summer and came across the picturesque town of Kinvara, Co. Galway. She took this photo as a memoir of the beauty and tranquility of the place. Now what are the odd's of this!? Do you recognise the sailor on the hooker? That's piper David Power from Waterford... I wonder if this is Eugene Lambe's boat... maybe that's Eugene off to the left there? What are the odd's? :)

Follow Up: David Power sent me this to elaborate on the tale: "I was there in Kinvara last summer for Cruinniu na mBaid, and was sailing, although not on Eugene Lambe's boat. I sail with a friend of mine, the man who coaxed me into taking up the pipes when I was very young. His name is Jim Horgan, originally from Youghal in Co. Cork. He moved to Furbo about twelve years ago. While he has been there he has taught hundreds of youngsters to play music and has been instrumental in reviving hooker building amongst the community up there - I think he has built seven or eight Gleotogs and Leath Bhaids by now - just one of these all-round great people."

Keep an eye out for David's CD which should be coming out soon.
Here's one of Mick O'Brien rehearsing with Secret Garden.





Willie Rousome Bb set believed to be Willie's own personal set. Recently refurbished by Brad Angus. Brad made the chanter also as the original was missing. This may well be the set seen in the old painting featured in Chief O'Neill's book's ::: more1»
Check out this link to see what the set looked like a year ago ::: more2»

Update: Lewis Blevins is the new custodian of this set. Here are some photos of the set in it's current condition. Notice Lewis' last pose with the set.... very Willie Rousome :)
Paddy Keenan on the bodhrán backing up David Power on his Alain Froment C set. Photo from Philip Mylod. This photo was sent to me in relation to this thread on the Chiff & Fipple message board ::: more»

Here's Philip's description of this disturbing occurence: "Good craic at the Mylod House concert May, 2004, Toms River , NJ. Paddy Keenan and Patsy O'Brian just finished their set and we all had a session afterward. David Power prefers no accompaniment so I handed Paddy the drum just to get David's goat. The Goat lost out as its probably the first time David has smiled with a bodhran player!"



This set was being sold on Ebay from July 24th to July 31st, 2004 by Alan GInsberg. The reserve hasn't been hit yet but it'll be interesting to see what develops.

"SET OF UILLEANN PIPES BY SCOTT CIRCA 1810-20.

A set of uilleann pipes in boxwood with brass keys and ivory mounts. The chanter has SCOTT LONDON stamped on it. The mainstock also has SCOTT INVENTOR HOLBORN BARS LONDON. Thomas Scott is listed at 17 Holborn Bars.

The set is made in the style of 18th. Century pipes with four keys on the tenor regulator, three keys on the baritone regulator and three keys on the bass regulator, the bass has three more keys mounted on a bend attached to it. The chanter has six keys, the C# key mounted on the side also in the style of the 18th. Century.

The bass separator bar is made entirely of boxwood with the intake and playing bore drilled next to each other, very fine work. This is attached to the mainstock by a ring keeping it held by tension on the taper of the stock.

Some of the mounts have been repaired with pins and the chanter has been severely disturbed in the bore and the finger holes.

This sale is on behalf of my brother A. A. Ginsberg my knowledge of musical instruments is next to nothing. I will try to answer your questions with your assistance or refer back to Alan by phone. Please check his web site on www.hgt.gwynedd.gov.uk/uilleannpipes







Following a recent discussion on the topic of mounts on the Chiff & Fipple message board many interesting and historic examples arose.

The ones shown here are, in order from left to right and top to bottom:
  • Willie Rousome, D set, regulator and drone mounts.
  • Willie Rousome, C# set, regulator mounts.
  • Maurice Coyne B set.
  • Kenna, lovely flower shaped mounts.
  • Kenna chanter mounts.
  • Robert Reid regulator mount and regulators.
  • McPhee regulator mounts - very Eganesque, eg. the Dan O'Dowd set ::: more»
  • Taylor Bros. Cumming's set mounts.
  • Richard Lewis O'Meally C# set owned by Lewis Blevins.
  • Peter Browne's Brogan set that was given to him by Séamus Ennis.
Here's a link to the thread ::: more»
Here's a photo from Pat Sky playing onstage with Martin Hayes, Patrick Sky, David Power and Tommy Peoples, all in the key of "C".
Gabriel McKeagney playing some tunes at the San Juan Capistrano Mission, Sunday August 8th 2004. Here's he's playing his Geoff Wooff C set.
I just received this photo and information from Gabriel McKeagney:
"Patrick, Lawrence McManus sent me this good pic of piper Philip Martin. He was born in 1907 and lived in Co Fermanagh, In Kilturk, between Lisnaskea and Newtownbutler. He died in 1942. There are recordings of him playing 5 or 6 tunes and he was a proficient player of the pipes. We do not know where the pipes are now that are in the picture or who made them, but he was known to have been in a band and to have been in close contact with Leo Rowsome during his career. There is a CD of his playing being worked on at the moment for release in the near future.

Gabriel
"

Update: 11/22/2005: Here is the finished stone piece to be placed on Phil Martin's grave.
Here's a classic old photo that turned up on the C&F message board by Peter Laban: "Below a shot by the famous jesuit/photographer fr Browne, it is Jem Byrne busking in old age."






Willie Rowsome C set owned by pipemaker Alan Ginsberg of Wales recently sold on EBay. Here are the details as they were posted on EBay:
"A full set of pipes made by William Rowsome in C natural and made in rosewood, brass and ivory. The mainstock is inscribed, MADE BY WM. ROWSOME FOR P. J. SHARKEY 1920. The chanter is keyless and 16.5 inches in length. Bellows stamped DENIS CROWLEY CORK with worn green fabric covering"

This is what pipemaker David Quinn had to say about the set:
"This set is one of the very first ones that I was able to examine after I began fooling around with making pipes in 1975. In 1977 it belonged to Mr. John Curry, who was then living in western Massachusetts, as was I. He had acquired the set some years before with the help of the Tom Standeven, from Matt Kiernan (may the two r.i.p.). John claimed that the chanter was one made by Mr. Kiernan, and while it does seem to be stylistically different from other chanters known to be of his make, I think that attribution for the chanter is plausible. The original (missing?) bass drone had been replaced by Matt Kiernan, and I still have that greenheart bass drone here in my shop. The bass drone pictured is a yet later replacement. The caps and ferrules on the baritone and tenor drones seem to have been re-done sometime in the last 27 years, also.
In 1976 I had no means of photographing the set (or anything else), but I do have quite detailed drawings of the externals of this set. It is also a source of great regret (for me, at least) that I had neither the means nor the sophistication to measure the bores of the regulators or chanter at that time. Minimum, maximum, length and throat position were all I recorded. Ah, youth!
As an aside, I recently overhauled a full set in C that I made in 1980. My techniques and aesthetics were inchoate at best at the time I made that set, but to my great surprise, the set worked pretty well, and I was not ashamed to send it back to its patient owner. This Rousome set (although it’s easy enough to see that by 1920, Mr. W had adopted the modern spelling) is the model upon which that and all my pre-1988 C sets were based, including the Gandhi set.
I do not often find myself lusting after old sets of pipes, but this is one I would very much like to have a second look at and a hopefully better informed listen to.
It seems very unlikely that Mr. Curry would be reading this forum, but if he is, or if anyone out there knows him or his whereabouts, I would very much like to be put in touch with him. I owe a very great debt to John Curry, and that’s one of many things that I would like to do something about before my time is up."
An R.L. O'Meally C# set currently under care of Lewis Blevins.
Here are a couple more photos that turned up on the C&F message board from Peter Laban: "The Lawrence collection is a collection of photographs on 8x10 glassplates form the late 19th-century. Lawrence photgraphed just about evey landmark , town and village in the country and included other images of crafts and things irish. It's a wonderful visual record of its period. Included are some six images of the same piper in slightly varying settings (different backgrounds, different hats, some with dudeens in the rim, increasing number of empty pints beside him). The whole collection used to be in the National Library of Ireland, during the early 80s I had a set of prints made from the original plates, even at the time ridiculously cheap at a few pounds a prints. A few plates (usually the unsharp or damaged ones, like the one reproduced above which has a slightly blurred face) seem to be in private hands, prints turn up in tourist shops at a price much higher than those from the library collection."

Mark Walstrom goes on to say: "The old piper is George McCarthy from Co. Cavan. There is some info about him in O'Neill's IM&M. O'Neill says he played a fine silver mounted Taylor set although this set in the photos is a Michael Egan. McCarthy died in 1908. In the 1903 picture issued as a postcard from NPU, " Pipers of the 19th Century" he is also shown playing this M.Egan set."

You can also see the good Mr. McCarthy playing his pipes for us at the bottom of these web pages :) ::: more»
LOL! :) Thanks to Tom Klein for this one... Who else could it be? He's the one that should go to hell God not me... okay? LOL! :)
Here are a couple of photos from Philippe Couka of Quimper, France. Petko Stéphanov playing Bulgarian Gaďda, Mick O'Brien and Patrick Molard on their uilleann pipes playing a bulgarian song with him on October 26, 2003. Alain Froment is to the left in the bowing photo.



Just received these from Tommy Martin the "St.Louis" piper. Tommy says "The first is a cover of an album called The Ulster Outcry and the group is called "Ar Leitheidi" or "the likes of us"
Back Row L to R: Feargal Mac Amhlaoibh, Maire Garvey, Dinny O'Brien, Dan Healy, Andrew O'Brien.
Front: Tom O'Brien, Mick O'Brien (age 12) and Denis O'Brien.

Then theres the front cover of the Pipers Club ceili band record. This group won the senior ceili band competition in 1975. The Pipers Club mentioned in not connected with Na Piobairi Uilleann but was founded as a pipers club in 1936 but some time in the late 1950's it became a branch of Comhaltas Ceoltiori Eireann.

The next picture is the group involved in the ceili band . The piper on the left is Gay McKeon with his Coyne set and the piper on the right is Peter McKenna with a Dan Dowd chanter and I think a Leo Rowsome body, but I could be wrong.

And to round it off, a picture of an Egan set of pipes that once belonged to Paddy Galvin. They are resting in a museum in Arrowtown down the very south tip of New Zealand. The photo is not great quality but suffice to say the pipes are in great condition. Holes have been moved over the years and It looks as though some holes have been moved back again. The curator of the museum is taking lessons to be able to play them now and again and they pipes have gone out on loan to reputable players for performances and recordings too.
"
The Laicthín Naofe Ceilidh Band in 1960. Junior Crehan third from the left, back row and Martin Talty far right back row with the pipes.

Follow Up: From Peter Laban: "Martin Talty holds the pipes in the pic but WIllie Clancy, JC Talty and Michael Falsey also played the pipes in the band (JC is in the middle of the front row with the flute). Just about all the 'locals' played in the band at sometime. A few years ago the surviving members had a reunion in 'The Malbay', they played for a few sets. a pleassant night it was. Still can't figure out whuy I didn't bring the camera."
Planxty at Glór in Ennis Co. Clare. Picture by Peter Laban.
For photos, reviews, audio, video and God knows what else about the 2004 Southern California Tionól go to www.SoCalPipers.com
This glass plate appeared on EBay recently. Thanks to Edmund Tunney the Milano piper for pointing it out. This is the description on EBay:

"This is a photographic glass magic lantern slide, lightly tinted,showing an Irish family from 1900 or a bit before, with the man holding Uilleann Pipes. Native to Ireland and England, uilleann pipes date back about 300 years to the beginning of the 18th century and probably share some common ancestry with Scots lowland pipes and other bellows blown pipes of the region. The design of the pipes as we know them today, with three drones and three regulators, stabilized around the start of the 19th century. Uilleann pipes did not survive in England and have become a purely Irish instrument. Yet they nearly became extinct and were saved by the efforts of the Taylor brothers and Captain Francis O'Neill in Chicago in the early 20th century, and later in Ireland by Leo Rowsome, Séamus Ennis, Johnny Doran and Willie Chancy and others who helped promote the instrument up through the 1960s. Today uilleann pipes are enjoying a continued revival in Ireland, North America and Europe and are more popular than ever, yet they remain extremely rare when compared to other instruments. And this photograph, about 100 years old, is extremely rare also and undoubtedly a one-of-a-kind!) Lantern slides are one of the best untapped resources of photographs there are. Many of these slides are one-of-a-kind because they were often not mass produced or the ones that were have been destroyed or discarded by now. Slide is 3 1/4" x 3 1/4", is in very good condition, and can be viewed by projecting, holding it to the light, or placing it on a light box."

I was directed to these great photos on Joe Burke's website by Peter Laban.
  1. The Ballinakill Traditional Dance Players with Leo Rowsome and Neilus Cronnin (pipers), about 1929. Looks like Seamus Ennis' mother there aswell.
  2. A 1918 reception for Eamonn DeValera during his historic election campaign. This Kilnadeema Band played during his visit to Loughrea and featured Joe's father, Mick, and uncle, Larry.

Received this interesting tid-bit from Hans-Joerg Podworny:

Hi Patrick,

Someone has sent me these pictures of the said to be longest and highest alley of surviving non-mediteranean European Boxwood-trees that you might print on your obsession-page. The place is in Ireland. It is documented since middle of the 17th century. The pictures mightn´t make think so but these remaining trees are very rare nowadays and should be protected by all means.

Best,

Hans
Received this from pipemaker Chris Bayley. It is an excerpt from the 1947 L.T.C.Rolts' book "The Silver and the Green" ::: more»
Tommy Martin sent me this great album cover and some info:

Howaya,
Here's a picture you might enjoy. It's Tommy Reck and the boys playing their hearts out in the Abbey Tavern in Howth. But a very similar picture is on your site from a different angle
::: more»

It's the same lads playing, same seats and same clothes too. The ablum is full of all the classic hits of balladry! But because it was recorded live there's a great buzz around it.

The line up from the top left is, Michael O'Connell , Margaret Monks, Tess Nolan, Michael Brooks. Front row from left: Bill Powers, Tommy Reck, Seamus Gallagher, PJ Downes.

The photo was taken during the filming of an advertisement for Carling Black Label lager so I wonder if there's any film footage still around. I've also found out that during the Worlds Fair there was some filming done in the Irish Village and the theatre. It'd be great to find a bit of Touhey on the telly!!!!

Anyway, Take her handy

Tommy
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