Saturday, December 24, 2011

Danny Spooner with Mick Farrell "in "Limbo" and other songs and places" 1978 LP

Danny Spooner surely did like putting out his early LPs in company with others. On this occasion he teamed up with one Mick Farrell who provides musical backing to Danny's guitar and also has some solo moments on the Uilleann Pipes.
I know, and can find, nothing about Mick Farrell other than in respect of his performance on this LP.  The LP notes advise that he was born in Sussex (England) and has Irish and Scottish ancestry.
I am a bit of a fan of the uilleann pipes (and also the Northrumbrian smallpipes). In the 1970s, interest in uilleann pipes was quite low despite the historically proficient performances by such greats as the then mostly retired Seamus Ennis (died 1982), Willie Clancy (died 1973) and Leo Rowsome (died 1970). The Dubliner maker, then in his eighties, Matt Kiernan, from whom Farrell says he obtained his pipes in 1975 was one of only a handful of active makers back then. Fortunately, the situation has improved greatly since then with lots of makers and players.
Obviously, Mick Farrell would have been a rarity in Australia in 1978. He states in the LP that "the chanter is pitched a little below C and this style is called the 'singing chanter' because of its felicitous compatibility with the human voice". In fact, he uses only the chanter (the drones are turned off) even in the solo parts. Regardless, he accompanies Danny brilliantly. (If interested there are some good clips featuring great uilleann pipes players on YouTube)

Track List
1. I drew my Ship (English traditional)
2. Limbo (British broadside)
3. The Newgate Stone (part English traditional)
4. Morrison's Jig (traditional)
5. The Maids of Cuil Mor (Irish)
6. Kishmul's Galley (a free translation of a Gaelic traditional)
7. Arthur McBride (Irish traditional - many versions of this)
8. Donald MacGillavry (Scottish traditional of the Jacobite era)
9. The Dancing Master (Irish instrumental)
10. Sean O Dubhir an Ghlenna (Sean O'Dwyer of the Glen) (Air and Song) (Irish Rebel Song)
11. The Lothian Hairst (Scottish traditional)
12. Felton Lonnin (Northrumbrian - Geordie)

I was provided with a great copy of this LP by one of our loyal visitors and the graphics but another visitor subsequently provided a cleaned up copy of the same LP and this is the version posted (I try not to do too much work if I don't have to). Many thanks to the both of you.

Download with Graphics
From MediaFire
Danny Spooner's widow has advised that plans are currently underway to expand the website to re-release Danny's music to raise funds for a memorial statue. Accordingly, the album is no longer available for download.


  1. Good one, nice writeup. Thank you

  2. Ooooo One I missed, what with Christmas and all
    Nice one, good to get some DS I never heard before..