Bothy Band’s Old Hag You Have Killed Me

imageThe Bothy Band’s second release was hailed by many as a ground breaking album. Irish music was to move forward in a different direction. It is hard to believe it was 33 years ago when listening to this album, as it sounds just as crisp as anything that might have been recorded today.

The band at that time were: Matt Molly (flute and whistle), Paddy Keenhan (uilleann pipes, whistle and low whistle), Kevin Burke (fiddle), Triona Ni Dhomhnaill (vocals, clavinet and harmonium), Michael O’Domhnaill (vocals and guitar), and Donall Lunny (vocals, bouzouki, guitar, and bodhran).

I did wonder if the rerelease of this album was in some way a tribute to the late Michael O’Domhnaill, who died suddenly at the age of 54 in 2006 after falling down the stairs in his Dublin home, but it doesn’t mention it in the album notes. I think it is Michael who takes the lead vocal on ‘Fionnghuala’s Bothy’ a piece of mouth music from the western isles of Scotland, credited to Calum Johnston of Barra. The performance given to it by the Bothy Band is of course brilliant. This and their version of ‘Sixteen Come Next Sunday’ have to be my favourite tracks.

The title track ‘Old Hag You have Killed Me’ is the opening tune for a set of jigs including ‘The Hag in the Kiln’ (aka Dinny Delaney’s) and the double-jig ‘Morrisons’.

The play list is well balanced with lively jigs and reels punctuated by sensitive songs such as ‘Calum Sgaire,’ a beautiful song collected from Lewis in the Outer Hebrides.

I liked this album a lot. I have to admit, I had forgotten how good the Bothy Band really are. I can recommend this album to any of you who are too young to have bought the 1976 LP. File it under good quality Irish / Scottish traditional music and song.

(Polydor, 1976, Green Linnet, 1982, and Compass Records, 2008)

Peter Massey

Born in 1945, Peter Massey, Senior Writer, is now living in the city of Chester, England with his wife Sandra. Now medically retired he worked for 35 years in the shoe business. He has been a semi-professional musician and singer performing mainly traditional / contemporary folk songs for over 38 years as part of the duo (and sometimes trio) 'The Marrowbones'. His musical interest started at the age of 14 with Rock 'n' Roll and by the time his seventeenth birthday came along he was already playing rock 'n' roll and R&B in and around the local dance venues and clubs such as the Cavern in Liverpool. Thankfully he was saved from the evils of rock 'n' roll when he discovered real music and folk clubs. His collection of recordings houses over 3500 folk songs alone. Other interests and hobbies include Computers and Amateur Radio (he has a class A G4 call sign) His latest project is 'The Little Room Studio' dedicated to making 'live' recordings of folk artists and producing their work on to CD using a portable digital recording studio. To date he has written and composed over 12 folk songs and co-wrote with Gordon Morris another 10 that have been recorded on CD. The song writing has continued and they have another 10 songs in the pipeline not yet recorded to CD. Favourite music / bands at the moment are Steeleye Span, The Battlefield Band, Little Johnny England and Fairport Convention, (in that order), and much admires the work of Martin Carthy, Martin Simpson, Roy Bailey, Vin Garbutt, and Bob Fox, to name but a few! You can visit the crummy Web site here and read about The Marrowbones and how to get your free songbook.

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