Return from Fingal Counter Melody

Celtic Week is here!  In honor of this noble week I’ve been playing around with some recordings and tab to post.

So far, I’ve got a counter melody for Return from Fingal.

Here it is…

Return from Fingal Melody

This counter melody was composed by Jim Magill.  His wife, Beth, and I played a little gig in Hendersonville a month or so back, and she played this lovely counter melody on her flute while I played the tune on mandolin.  Before she packed up to attend the Swannanoa Gathering, I was able to get a copy of the music to tab out.  Ideally, I aim to create a recording of both these parts for the youtube channel

Jack of the Wood July 7th, 2013 -- Irish Session

Jack of the Wood July 7th, 2013 — Irish Session — Sean, Ryan, Billy, Doug, Lynn, & Shannon

I have also been working on a recording of Na Ceannabhain Bhana/The Black Rogue/The Noon Day Feast .

So far I’ve got an octave mandolin track and a mandolin track.  Once, I get it tightened up and a backing track I’ll post it.

All three of these tune can be found in the Asheville Celtic Mandolin Collection.

Asheville Celtic Mandolin Collection

Asheville Celtic Mandolin Collection



Jack of The Wood Asheville NC Sunday Session

A videographer showed up on Sunday and decided he wanted to record some tunes.  He happened to get a recording of Dinny O’brien’s and Islay Ranter’s Reel from the earlier session, and a song from the later session.

Notice the lighting.  We did happen to have a number of mandolin family instruments at the first session.  Most of which were playing during those tunes.


The Choice Wife

Today I was inspired to tab out one of my recent favorite tunes.  One is called The Choice Wife, or O’Farrel’s Welcome To Limerick.    The mandolin tablature also has standard notation. You can access these files as .pdf clicking the links below or through the tunes page.

The Choice Wife Mandolin Tab

This is a tune played often at the Jack of the Wood session, when Sean is on the pipes. It’s got a great groove, and nice melody.



The Choice Wife & Muireann’s Jig

Last week our local piper at the early session at the Jack of the Wood, encouraged me to back him up on a jig and a slip jig.  They are great tunes, so I spent some time researching and creating a chord arrangement to for rhythmic backing.

Here are the chords I found from VCP Sheet Music for “the Choice Wife”.  They work nicely.

Slip Jig Mandolin Tab and notation and chords

Next up are some chords I’m playing around with for “Muireann’s Jig”.

Bm- BmEm BmEm BmEm B- BmEm Bm- BmEm

Em- F#m- G- Am Em- F#m- G- Am

Bm- D- D- DEm Bm- D- D- DEm


I feel it can still use some tweaking, but it works well enough at the moment.

If you’d like to play along, use the videos below.

The Choice Wife is also called O’Farrell’s Welcome to Limerick

25 Irish Tunes Mandolin Tablature and Standard Notation

Here’s a great PDF from a fellow MandolinCafe member, Michael Pilgrim.  Some of these songs are individually on the tunes and tab page, but

Tune List from Michael Pilgrim’s Irish Tune Booklet

there are a number of them which are not.

Enjoy adding these common irish session tunes to your repertoire.  I look forward to seeing you at the Jack of the Wood some time here in Asheville!

25 Irish Fiddle Tunes in Standard Notation and Mandolin Tablature

Click the Link above to view or Download this file.

See below for a great book full of Mandolin tab, standard notation and chords for the Celtic/Irish mandolin, octave mandolin or tenor banjo player.

20% of all profits go towards the Swannanoa Gathering Scholarship Fund.

Asheville Celtic Mandolin Collection

Asheville Celtic Mandolin Collection

The Floating Crowbar

Here’s the newest tune converted to Tablature and Standard Notation for the Mandolin.

Mandolin Tablature and Standard Notation

Standard Notation and Tablature for the Celtic Irish Tune, the Floating Crowbar. Arranged for Mandolin.

A clearer version can be downloaded in .pdf format on the tunes page of this blog.

It’s been tabbed out fairly accurately. If I recall there are a number of ghost notes indicated on the sheet music on But this will get you through. Also, please disregard the way the notes are tied together in the B part. Neither I nor my computer program caught these errors until it had already been converted.

However, all the tab works just fine, so enjoy!

Maybe you’ll come out and play it with us at the Jack of the Wood on Sunday afternoon?

See you then.

Don’t Stick Your Cell Phone in a Piper’s Face

Yesterday was a good day at the Jack of the Wood. I got to put by Trinity College Octave Mandolin into Rhythm Mode until Mike (excellent guitarist) showed up. I’m appreciating the Octave Mandolin more and more in this role, and getting a bit more experimental, rather than just straight chords.

As we got rolling, Sean showed up with his pipes and led us through a number of tunes. At which time, a somewhat well intentioned, but misguided older gentleman decided it would be a good idea to hold his cell phone in Sean’s face as he played, because “I have a friend in Texas who plays the pipes!” He said smilingly.

Sean was tolerant up until he quit playing and the older fellow, continued to hold his cell phone out in anticipation of a new tune.

Cameras, videos and recorders are OK hanging around a session, but cell phones projected into the middle of the group at arm’s length should be avoided.

September 2010 Jack of the Wood

Well, it’s been about four weeks  since playing at Jack of the Wood. The last time I was there, John Doyle, of

Before the First Session at Jack of the Wood

Solas showed up. He sat down beside me and introduced himself as if I didn’t know who he was. I played along. He had a great carbon fiber mandolin with a wood veneer on top. It roared!  Too bad he’s left handed, or I might have asked to give it go.

Tonight was well worth it.  The GreenMan Porter was excellent and all the musicians on top of it.

Sean, the regular, excellent, guitarist, asked to play my Trinity College Octave Mandolin, and made it sound stellar.  Who know it had that much volume?  An entry level instrument can really wail in the hands of someone who knows what they are doing.

Oh yes, and Peggy (on Mandolin) showed up and played for most of the first session.  Good job Peggy! It’s good not to be the only mandolin player at a session.

Melinda and Peggy at the First Afternoon Session

Happy Autumn. Today was dark, stormy and windy. Mist hung low over the Asheville mountains on the way down to Fairview. Excellent day to be in a pub, playing tunes with friends.