Gordon McLeod

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Album Launch : Gordon McLeod / Just Fiddlin'

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Gordon McLeod has released a new album of fiddle music called Just Fiddlin’, and on it he pays respect to a number of great musicians who have inspired him down through the years. Gordon is well known in the Irish community inTexas, after co-founding and performing for 20 years with the renowned Celtic-American-Roots band Beyond The Pale, as well as being a founding member of The Aisling String Trio and violinist in the Texas Gypsies.

Over the years he has travelled to Ireland to indulge his craving for soul lifting traditional music, and has enjoyed playing with some of the Ireland’s best known musicians, including Matt Cranitch and Niall Murphy who are guests on the album, along with famed Irish accordionist Donal Murphy.

“I learned most of my music from some wonderful musicians and friends in sessions and music classes in Ireland, Texas, Boston and New York,” he says. “Anyone who listens to this record  will probably notice a decided influence from Sliabh Luachra. Not only do I love the beautiful energy of the music of the Sliabh Luachra area, but I have been very fortunate to count among my friends some wonderful musicians from that area who have had a great deal of influence on my playing. Chief among these are the very talented members of the seminal band Sliabh Notes; Matt Cranitch, Donal Murphy and Tommy O’Sullivan. I first met and heard Sliabh Notes at The North Texas Irish Festival in Dallas, Texas in 2000 and my life has been all the richer for that experience.”

The album features 14 tracks and this is a set of polkas that includes Johnny O’Leary’s, Din Tarrant’s and Kelly’s.

 

Matt Cranitch was a big influence on Gordon’s music, and he had the privilege to attend many of his master classes in Ireland and the USA.  “He has been generous with his time, giving me personal and informal help with my playing, as well as playing the gracious host on many of the visits I made to Ireland.” he says. Matt is also a guest musician on two of the tracks including the opening set of slides on the album as well as The Gullane and Blackwater Polkas. Gordon learned these tunes from Matt and Jackie Daly at a workshop in the O’Flaherty Irish Music Retreat near Dallas, Texas. He was delighted when Matt agreed to record them with him on the record.

Gordon says that accordionist, Donal Murphy, likewise had a big influence on his playing and has been a good friend and supporter. “I have learned much from his example of playing with authority, energy and grace. This signature sound of his, leads off “Donal and The Buffalo” (track 4) which I composed in a dream one night, camped out under the stars at a music festival in Austin, Texas, when I dreamed that Donal was playing this tune. The talented Niall Murphy adds some additional fiddle flair on this track.”

“Although I did not get the opportunity to include Tommy O’Sullivan on the album, I should thank him for so many memorable evenings of great craic and conversation over the years, and for introducing me to so many great Irish musicians. I met many of these folks in Tommy and Saundra’s magical bar, The Courthouse Pub in Dingle, which is a hotspot for traditional Irish music and known the world over.

Gordon also includes a number of his own compositions including “Melanie’s Waltz”, named after Donal’s daughter, and Fiona’s hornpipe , named after Patrick Thurmond’s daughter. Patrick is a good friend and Irish music mentor, who introduced him to traditional Irish music many years ago. David Lovrien (low whistle) and Allison Hicks (piano), provide additional accompaniment on the album, as does Gordon’s wife and fellow Beyond the Pale guitarist Christy Mcleod.

 

The album is now available, and you can purchase or download it from CDBaby by clicking on the logo below.

 

 

Also visit his website www.gordonmcleod.com

For broadcasters that are part of our Download Centre, the album is FREE and all liner notes are included. Follow the link below.

 

Musicians

Gordon McLeod - fiddle, guitar, octave mandolin, bodhran, bass, keyboards

Matt Cranitch - fiddle tracks 1 and 5

Allison Hicks - piano track 13

Dave Lovrien - low whistle track 13

Christy McLeod - guitar track 4

Donal Murphy - accordion track 4

Niall Murphy - fiddle track 4

 

Thanks

The musicians,Ken Fleming and The Traditional Irish Music Education Society, The Southwest Celtic Music Association.



 

The Ceili

By Chuck Bloom

Ceili editor

May-June 2015

“Beyond the Pale” fiddler Gordon McLeod has produced his third solo recording effort, “Just Fiddlin’ “. Always one of the best fiddlers in the D-FW area’s Celtic scene, McLeod fully demonstrates his prowess – clean, forceful playing – on 14 tracks and 42 minutes. All tracks are instrumentals, with mostly traditional numbers chosen.

McLeod does add three of his original compositions on the album (“Donal and the Buffalo,” “Fiona’s” and “Melanie’s Waltz”) and a couple of other tunes (“Jocelyn’s Waltz” by Tommy Peoples and “Kings of Kerry” by Sharon Shannon).

He is well assisted by his supporting cast, Christy McLeod (Beyond the Pale) on guitar, David Lovrien (5 Second Rule) on low whistle and Allison Hicks on piano. But, for the most part, it is McLeod performing the music on a host of instruments (fiddle, guitar, octave mandolin, keyboards, bass, bodhran) and then into the mixing process, which McLeod said was his favorite place to work.

What has emerged is solid traditional Irish music – the calling card for McLeod. “Just Fiddlin’ is far from his Daddy G jazz-infused alter ego; but roots are roots and one must return to them after sowing one’s musical oats.