Reviews and information about James Kelly's recordings.



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Melodic Journeys (2004)

Traditional Irish Music (1997)

The Ring Sessions (1995)

Melodic Journeys

"Each tune takes us on a journey with every variation beautifully crafted, like an artist starting with a blank canvas and ending up with a masterpiece". - PJ Crotty, musician

This is a solo, unaccompanied, traditional Irish fiddle recording featuring James Kelly on fiddles. It was recorded at Manatee Studios, Miami Florida and released in 2004. Released by Catalogue # JKM0147.

All the tracks are chosen with great care, respect and love of Irish music. Many of the tunes James plays on this recording were learned from his father John Kelly. There are many wonderful tunes on this recording including the reels "Toss the Feathers" and "The Colliers", the lovely polkas "The Scartaglen/Din Tarrants/O'Callaghans, the beautiful airs "An Paistin Fionn" and the rarely heard "O'Carolan's Farewell to Music".

List of Tracks.

1. Reels. Toss the Feathers/The Colliers.
2. Mazurka/Highland Fling. Gan Ainm/The Keel row.
3. Slow Air. An Paistin Fionn.
4. Polkas. The Scartaglen/Din Tarrants/O'Callaghans.
5. Hornpipes. The Friendly Visit/the Leitrim Fancy.
6. Reels. Bunker Hill/The Star of Munster.
7. Slow Air. O'Carolan's Farewell to music.
8. Jigs. The Cauliflower/The Humours of Ballinafad/Tap the Barrell.
9. Polkas. Bridgie Con Matt's/Tom Billy's/Casey's.


Traditional Irish Music

"Kelly's playing is deliberate and respectful,deceptively straightforward, but with fabulous intricacy and ornamentation and technical brilliance". - George Fowler, Atlanta Celtic Quarterly

A solo recording by James Kelly recorded in Maine and released in 1997. Capelhouse Records #CD896012.

Recorded at New Solutions Studio, Somerville Maine. There is an immediacy to the recording that makes one feel that the performance is live. The recording quality is excellent, as are the extensive liner notes by James. The selections are a blend of reels,jigs,hornpipes,slip jigs, and slow airs, some fairly well known, others quiet obscure. Kelly is joined by a cast of superb musicians including Uilleann piper Paddy Keenan and multi-instrumentalist Zan Mc Leod.

The album features: James Kelly on fiddle. Paddy Keenan on uilleann pipes. Zan Mc Leod on guitars, bouzouki and mandolin. Mark Stone on bodhran and keyboards. Daithi Connaughton on flute.

List of Tunes:

1. Reels. Lads of Laois/Gan Ainm/The Heathry Cruach.
2. Jigs. Dark Corners/The Blossom of Ballisland/The Kings Inn.
3. Slow Air. Limerick's Lamentation.
4. Hornpipes. An Tri is a Rian/Reavy's/The Liverpool Breakdown.
5. Jigs. The Lost and Found/The Capelhouse/The Wind off the Lake.
6. Reels. Farewell to Ireland/The Wild Irishman/Dowd's #9.
7. Slip Jigs. Gift from the fairies/Drops of Brandy/Is the big man within.
8. Strathspey/Reels. The Athol Brose/the Spinning Wheel/The Masons Apron.
9. Slow Air. The dear Irish Boy.
10. Reels. The London Set.
11. Jigs. The Humours of Ballingarry/The Rambling Pitchfork/The Blackm Rogue.
12. Single jig - slip jig- reel. Mary Brennan's Favourite/Elizabeth Kelly's Delight/Miss Mc Leod's.
13. Reels. Winding Road of Advance/The Road to Knock/Molly Rankin's.


The Ring Sessions

"You couldn't wish for better fiddling in the Irish style". - Alex Monaghan, Living Tradition Magazine

A duet recording featuring James Kelly on fiddle and multi- instrumentalist Zan Mc Leod (guitar and bouzouki) - 1995-Phaeton/Claddagh records-catalog # SPINCD999

Recorded in 1995 in Ring County Waterford, Ireland at the studio of "Clancy Brothers" Liam Clancy. The album has a "live" feel with studio quality sound. The traditional feel and depth of Kelly's fiddle playing makes a dynamic counterpoint with the rhythmic drive and eclectic innovation of Mc Leod's guitar and bouzouki work. There are old session favourites such as "The Congress","Julia Delaney", "The Silver Spear", as well as brilliant new compositions of James' such as "Touching Cloth", "Sitting on the Throne", and "Eve's Jig".

List of tunes;

1. Jigs. The Luck Penny/Old man Dillon/The Knights of Saint Patrick.
2. Strathspey/Reels. Molly's Graduation/Dougie Mac Donald's/The Congress.
3. Hornpipes. Toomgraney Castle/Gan Ainm.
4. Reels. Julia Delaney/Christmas Eve.
5. O' Carolan. Planxty Fanny Power.
6. Reels. The wise Maid/Ciaran's/Touching Cloth/Sitting on the Throne.
7. Reels. Sailing into Walpole's Marsh/The game of Love/The Teetotaller.
8. Polkas. The Ballydesmond/The Knocknaboul.
9. Strathspey/Slip Jig/Reels. Dublin Strathspey/Eve's Jig/Lady from Oceanside/The Christchurch.
10. Jigs. Gaffney's Favourite Son/the Humours of Rahey.
11. Slow Air O" Carolan. The Lament for Terence Mac Donough.
12. Reels. Cranking Out/Silver Spear.