Monday, 12 October 2015

Sailor on the Rock (reel): Brendan (eile)

Sailor on the Rock (reel)

A popular session reel, the Sailor on the Rock can be found under Irish variations of its title - An Mairnéalach ar an gCarraig / Maraí ar an gCarraig - and also under the stranger name, Johnny with the Queer Thing! 

It has been widely recorded so there are literally dozens of versions by past and present masters, from Michael Coleman on fiddle to Harry Bradley on flute, from which to draw inspiration. Here's a great recording by Packie Duignan on flute and Seamus Horan on fiddle from an album entlitled Music from County Leitrim (1978).

There are also some great versions recorded on banjo - Gerry O'Connor (Time to Time, 1991), John Carty & Brian McGrath (The Cat that Ate the Candle, 1994), Kevin Griffin (Across the Pond, 2002) and Seán O'Driscoll (The Kitchen Recordings, 2003). I've been working from John Carty's recording - I love his style of playing! Here are two recordings seperated by an hour's practice during which I managed to increase the pace slightly. 

As always, is the place to go to fnid ABC notation and sheet music and for tabulature try HERE

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