Johnny O’Leary of Sliabh Luachra
By: Terry Moylan
Originally published in 1994, this stunning collection of Irish music from Johnny O’Leary is re-issued here in a new, entirely re-set edition, containing an additional 29 tunes, and new photographs.
Sliabh Luachra, in the heart of Munster, is home to a unique style of traditional Irish music. The great fiddle-player Padraig O’Keefe (1887-1963) lived and taught there, passing on a vibrant musical tradition to Denis Murphy and his daughter Julia Clifford, and to the box-player Johhny O’Leary.
O’Leary, custodian of a huge repertoire of tunes adapted by The Chieftains, De Dannan and Planxty among others, blends Sliabh Luachra tunes with older Kerry music, and is hailed as one of its finest exponents. Polkas, slides, reela, jigs and hornpipes make up the tune-sources for the collection, with rare and historic photographs of the principal performers interspersed amongst the transcriptions. This second edition of Johnny O’Leary of Sliabh Luachra is to be welcomed by all musicians and Irish music enthusiasts.
ABOUT THE EDITOR
TERRY MOYLAN is a music historian, piper and archivist at Dublin’s Na Piobairi Uilleann. His earlier publications include Johnny O’Leary of Sliabh Luachra: Dance Music from the Cork-Kerry Border (Dublin 1994, 2014), and The Age of Revolution in the Irish Song Tradition 1776-1815 (Dublin 2000).