Tola Custy Interview (Fiddle)

Episode 33 · January 22nd, 2020 · 1 hr 59 mins

About this Episode

So - when it comes to this episode, we're nearly lost for words. It's engrossing. A deep dive into a sea teeming with life. 

Clare born fiddle player Tola Custy talks about how Irish music nearly died and how his father and others of his generation saved it. About out of tune whistling, the woman who bossed the Tulla Céilí Band and Radical Comhaltas. Growing up in a house divided - Kevin Burke fans on one side, Frankie Gavin fans on the other. He talks about Asturian fiddle playing and Irish fiddle playing; the James Goodman manuscript collection; the Time (Ireland) Act of 1916. He talks about stage fright and feeding off the energy of other musicians, the different beauty of Micho Russell's playing. He talks about the waltz time in his head, and much else besides. 

And he plays the folllowing pieces:

The Lighthouse and The Mermaid (his own tune) into a Swedish jig followed by a Breton jig

So Small The Boat, So Big The Sea (Tola Custy)

Time Zone Laneway (Tola Custy) into The Maple Leaf (a reel composed by Darach De Brun for his wedding in 1976)

The Yellow Wattle, which Tola learned from the playing of Micho Russell, into Metro-Gnome (his own composition)

and finally

Love At The Ending. 

Following the last solo piece, Tola plays a set of tunes with Ado Barker, and they're then joined by Corinn Strating on flute. Recorded at The Last Jar in Melbourne as part of the first of three bush fire relief fundraisers. All proceeds from this episode of The Blarney Pilgrims will go to the same cause. 

You can contribute by going to The Last Jar's facebook page:

You'll also find details there about the next fundraiser coming up on Saturday 1st February.
Thanks to everyone at the pub, and to Joe Ferguson for his help with the sound. 

And Tola, thanks for a stoater of a chat. 


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