JOSEPHINE KEEGAN: A DROP IN THE OCEAN
Josephine Keegan, perhaps better known as the piano accompanist on fiddler Sean McGuire's early albums, is an accomplished fiddle player herself, as well as a noted composer of tunes in traditional style. While her last publication, "The Keegan Tunes," was a collection of the latter, this new book, 220-pages long and containing over 600 tunes, is the result of Keegan's lifelong interest in collecting tunes from all areas and players, many of whom, knowing her interest, would send her their manuscripts. Besides its impressive scope, this collection is most interesting in that it contains many tunes composed by some of the great contributors to the tradition whose work has not yet been published, including Martin Mulhaire, Paddy Fahey, the Dwyers, Brendan McGlinchey, Raymond Roland, Billy McComiskey, Paddy O'Brien (Offaly), and many more. Even if, as the title implies, it only scratches the surface, this is a treasure of a collection, and in a time when all kinds of too often dubious settings of tunes make their way around the internet, Keegan's transcriptions can be trusted to be accurate and conform to the traditional idiom.
Paperback, 220pp, photos, illus., disc.
Rating: **** 1/2