I stumbled upon this video a few months ago when I was trying to find information about Ryan’s Fancy. More accurately I stumbled upon this song within the video itself. From what appears to have been a television show they had with Tommy Makem, this video begins with performance from Ryan’s Fancy. Then, about midway (2:00), there is a performance by Tríona Ní Dhomhnaill. It’s fantastic.
Initially, it reminded me of “Golden Brown” by the Stranglers. In the bracing and jaunty way the piano is played.
The song she is playing is “Butterfly” by Tomnmy Potts. The song itself is very famous and has been played in a number of ways and on a number of instruments. But I would rate this version as easily my favourite. Some of the other versions I have heard are a little dreary and languid. I can’t blame them, it appears to be a very difficult song. But this one is bright, sharp and energetic, and it makes all the difference.
From wikipedia, here is some background information.
About Ryan’s Fancy:
Ryan’s Fancy was a musical group active from the 1960s until the 1980s, all three of whose members were Irish immigrants to Canada.
The trio relocated to St. John’s, Newfoundland in 1971 to attend Memorial University of Newfoundland. Making a splash in the local music scene, the group landed the first of several television series. Produced by Jack Kellum on CBC, the show involved the trio travelling and playing across Atlantic Canada. Ryan’s Fancy had their own syndicated series called Ryan’s Fancy (January 1972 to April 1972) and the pub-styled Tommy Makem and Ryan’s Fancy (July to September 1974).
About Tríona Ní Dhomhnaill:
Tríona Ní Dhomhnaill is an Irish traditional musician and singer from Kells, County Meath, whose paternal grandparents moved there from the Rann na Feirste Gaeltacht of Donegal in the 1930s. She is famed for her work with traditional Irish groups such as Skara Brae, Relativity, Touchstone, Nightnoise and The Bothy Band.
About Tommy Potts:
Tommy Potts (1912–1988) was a remarkable and innovative Irish fiddle player from Dublin. Although only one commercial recording of his playing was ever made, ‘The Liffey Banks’ in 1972, he has gained iconic status in traditional Irish music circles for his virtuoso musicianship and highly individual take on the Irish music tradition.