Dmitri Alano – The End of The Evening, Liner Notes

 

1.  The Hag with the Money/Seamus Cooley’s/Brendan Tonra’s  

Irish Traditional/ Irish Traditional/Brendan Tonra

 

I refer to this set as The Boston Set because that’s where I first became aware of the Seamus Cooley’s (The Bohola) Jig and Brendan Tonra’s.  I was on vacation with my wife Julie, and visited the Green Briar Pub in Brighton; very nice session with some fine players. They played these tunes with such enthusiasm and style, that I just had to learn them.  Lucky for me, my digital recorder was running and I learned their version of those two tunes. I knew The Hag with the Money (Sí Do Mhamó Í) previously, but again, the style of that session made me dig into the tune much deeper.  I lasted the entire night at that session. And as people left throughout the evening, and I moved closer to the head of the session, and others actually began talking to me.  After I played a passable set of reels, and the rest realized that I wasn’t just some wanna-be player, the head of the session asked where I was from.  I replied “Indiana”. To which he said, “Oh, I’m sorry…I didn’t know there was any Irish music in Indiana”.  The night ended fine, though. The session leader also said that the next time I’m at his session, “You should come up and sit here at the front.”

Dmitri Alano: Flute, Button Accordion

Mario Joven: Guitar

 

 

2. The Coal Miner/Speed the Plow/The Sally Gardens                                                                      

Irish Trad/ Irish Trad / Irish Trad

 

Coal Miner and Speed the Plow I learned from the great Irish flute player Mike Rafferty.  I learned them at the Swannanoa Celtic Music Week in the early 2000’s. I’m not sure where I learned Sally Gardens, but I played it nearly every Saturday night for about 5 years when I played with the band Hogeye Navvy.  It is still one of my all-time-favorite reels.

Dmitri Alano: Flute

Johnandrew Bellner: Guitar

 

 

3. The Random Canoe/The First House in Connaught/The Rising Sun       

Dmitri Alano/ Irish Trad / Irish Trad

 

The Random Canoe is one of the very first tunes I’ve written.  In 2002, again, at Swannanoa Celtic Week, in North Carolina, a few of us were hanging out chatting.  Danielle, another flute player who I met there, was telling a story when she used the phrase “a random canoe paddled by”.  We all laughed at her vernacular and commented that “Random Canoe” would make a great tune name! When I returned home the following week, I wrote the tune.  Being new at writing Irish tunes, I stole my favorite parts of other tunes I knew at the time.

I learned The first House in Connaught from the playing of Eogahn O’Sullivan and Patrick O’Conner. I LOVE their version of it.  I got the last tune from the Sliabh Notes’ album, Along Blackwater’s Banks. with Matt Cranitch, Dónal Murphy, and Tommy O'Sullivan. They call it Martin Mulvihill’s Reel.

Dmitri Alano: Whistle

TH Gillespie: Piano

 

 

4. The Lilting Banshee/Conroy’s/Dunkeld House                                          

Irish Trad / Irish Trad /Scotish Trad

 

My dear friend, Hilary Abigana, brought this set to her session at the Upland Brewery Tasting Room in Indianapolis.  I think she picked it up during the time she lived in Evansville, Indiana.  She and Greg Jukes ran that session at Upland and we had loads of great times there including marathon sets where we’d pass the next tune to whomever had one. It was common for a reel set to last 25 minutes! Great times.  The two of them, graciously lend their talents on this track.  Hilary helped me establish the Irish Arts Academy of Indianapolis, for which, I’ll be forever grateful.  She and Greg are in a trio “hybrid arts” ensemble called The Fourth Wall.  Three immensely talented and creative individuals.  See them at TheFourthWallEnsemble.com

Dmitri Alano: Flute

Hilary Abigana: Flute

Greg Jukes: Bodhrán

 

 

5. Inisheer/Phyllis’ Birthday                                                                   

Thomas Walsh/Josephine Marsh

 

Inisheer marks my recording debut on button accordion.  I special ordered the accordion from Castagnari, in Italy.  It’s everything I ever wanted in a “dry” sounding accordion; fabulous sound.  I ordered it through the nice folks at Liberty Bellows in Philadelphia. I spent a few days in Philly just to look at (and ultimately order) the boxes at Liberty Bellows, all while visiting my friend Bette Conway, there in Lansdale. Thanks to Bette for the kind hospitality.  Also a big thanks to Jen Midkiff for her wonderful harp playing on this track; so beautifully played!

I don’t remember when I first heard Phyllis’ Birthday, but do remember that it had an impact on me immediately!  Later, I heard a recording of Josephine Marsh, the composer, playing the tune and decided that everyone here in Indianapolis needed to know this tune.  So, for about a year straight, I’d relentlessly play this tune as sessions; often multiple times throughout the evening, so late-comers would hear it.  Josephine wrote the tune for her mother, Phyllis.

Dmitri Alano: Flute, Button Accordion

Jen Midkiff: Harp

Robyn Boche: Piano

Mario Joven: Banjo

 

 

6. Three Little Fishies/Hilary’s Hornpipe (The Package Liquor Store)    

Dmitri Alano/Dmitri Alano

 

These are both compositions of mine. The B section of Three Little Fishies came to me as I was waking up one morning.  Other composers can probably relate to this, as tunes often come to me in that “free floating” time in between sleep and consciousness, in the morning.  And as always, as soon as I become aware that a melody is churning in my head, I quickly get up, run to my music studio and try to coax it from my brain on to paper.  This one was very strong in my head and it didn’t take long for the A section to reveal itself, after the B section was concretely on the page.

Hilary’s Hornpipe (The Package Liquor Store) was written for my great friend and fellow Irish flute player, Hilary.  She decided to combine her love of all types of alcohol and her need for a stable income by working part time at a local liquor store. She told hilarious (pun intended) stories about the customers (and employees) at the store. You can almost hear the words “the package liquor store, the package liquor store” in the beginning phrase of the B section.  I entered this tune in the Midwest Fleadh new traditional tune competition, one year.  Didn’t come close to winning. The minor 7th as an accented note in the melody, took it out of the running for the judge; “not traditional enough”. 

 

On piano is my friend Robyn Boche.  She was the piano player in the Indianapolis Ceili Band, when we placed 2nd at the Midwest Fleadh in, 2014.  She joined the band only a couple years prior.  During the very first gig she played with us, fans were bringing us can after can of Guinness; so much we couldn’t drink it all and still be able to drive home.  At the end of the night I saw Robyn putting a couple of unopened cans in her bag “for later use”, she said.  It was at that moment, that I knew she would fit in with the rest of the band, perfectly! Thanks Robyn, for helping put The Ceili Band on the map!

Dmitri Alano: Flute

Robyn Boche: Piano

 

 

7. Flagstone of Memories/The Donegal Reel/The Reel of Rio  

Vincent Broderick/ Irish Trad /Sean Ryan

 

The first and the third tunes in this set, Flagstone of Memories and Reel of Rio, I heard Simone Westerkamp playing at the Midwest Fleadh ceili dance competition in Cincinnati OH. She has such a swing and style to her playing. The Donegal Reel I learned from the amazing playing of Gerry Hanley.  His playing always sounds so effortless and has great pace.  He was visiting relatives in Indianapolis and mutual friend of our asked me if there was a session going on that week, that I could point him to.  I, of course, told him about the Golden Ace Inn where there’s been a weekly session for 15 years, run by Jim and Kate Smith and Jenny Thompson.  The owners of the pub, the McGinleys, are from Donegal.  Gerry says, “I know a Donegal tune.” and proceeded the play a smashing set, including the Donegal Reel.

Dmitri Alano: Flute

 

 

8. Cahir’s Kitchen                                                                                                      

Paddy Keenan

 

Cahir’s Kitchen is a Paddy Keenan tune that I first heard on the NPR’s Thistle & Shamrock program, probably 25 years ago.  I’ve been playing it ever since.  I first recorded it with the inimitable Terry Bellner’s band, Hogeye Navvy.  I’d been asked to join the band only weeks before and was told, “Oh yeah, we’re recording an album in two weeks and we want you on it.

Also, Terry Sweeney, co-founder of the Indy Irish Fest loves this tune and requests it every time he hears me play.  So here ya go, Terry, a newly recorded version!

Dmitri Alano: Flute

Johnandrew Bellner: Guitar

 

 

9. Christy Barry’s #1/Christy Barry’s #2 (Butlers of Glen Ave)           

Christy Barry/Tony Sullivan

 

I’m not sure where I picked up the Christy Barry’s set.  It’s just standard repertoire all Irish flute players know.  Guaranteed, if you find a session run by flute players, they’ll know it.  Here, it gets a jazz treatment by the versatile Mario Joven, on guitar.

Dmitri Alano: Flute, Whistle

Mario Joven: Guitar, Bass Guitar

Carlos San Lucas, Drums

 

 

10.  The King’s March/Year of Jubilo/Come Dance and Sing   

Terry Bellner/Henry Clay Work/ Trad, New England

 

Recorded in Terry Bellner’s Living Room. I sat next to Terry for nearly 10 years, in his band Hogeye Navvy. That was both a curse and a blessing. A curse, because of the many odiferous offensiveness created by Terry due to his massive consumption at the pub, before the gig. A blessing, because, although the smell was occasionally torturous, it was well worth the musical magic he created on a nightly basis. The first tune, The King’s March, was written by Terry.

Year of Jubilo (Kingdom Coming) was written in 1862 by abolitionist, Henry Clay Work, as a pro-Unionist song, celebrating the slaves’ impending liberation.

I heard that the last tune, Come Dance and Sing, is an English country dance. I learned both of these last tunes from Terry.

Dmitri Alano, Flute

Terry Bellner, Anglo Concertina

Johnandrew Bellner, Guitar/Banjo

 

 

11.  The Lament for Margaret O’Carroll

John Brady

 

I got The Lament for Margaret O’Carroll from my good friend Kurt Blackmore.  Kurt and I met when we were both auditioning for Butler University’s Jordan College of Fine Arts. We were good friends all through our college career and became closer after college, when we began composing music together.  We had great times recording music together. Years ago, for my birthday, he gave me a book of tunes by John Brady.  I learned a few of them and the Lament was one of them.  Kurt passed away in 2004 from complications due to pancreatitis.  I still miss him and he continues to be a major influence on me as a musician and person. This tune is in memory of him.

Dmitri Alano: Flute

 

 

12. Ed’s Reel (The Bubbling Box)/Lark in the Park

Dmitri Alano/Dmitri Alano

 

I’m the director of the Indianapolis Ceili Band. I like to write tunes for the band members; something that describes their personality, usually.  The first tune in this set, I wrote for Ed Delaney.  He has such a fun and easy-going personality.  It’s called Ed’s Reel (The Bubbling Box). Ed made a few alterations of my original tune to make it fit better on the concertina.  I really like this tune.

I’m also the director of the Irish Arts Academy of Indianapolis and Hilary, the co-director at the time, thought it would be a good idea to write some tunes, for the inaugural classes, that the students could learn.  Our first classes were held in the Garfield Park Arts Center Building, just south of downtown Indianapolis, so I named the tune Lark in the Park.

Dmitri Alano: Flute,

Ed Delaney: English Concertina

TH Gillespie:  Piano

 

 

13. The Middle Reel/The End of the Evening

Dmitri Alano/Dmitri Alano

 

I needed a tune to go in between two other original compositions, in a set. I didn’t have a tune that really fit from my current compositions, so I wrote one!  I had no particular influence for composing this tune, other than needing a middle tune, so I called it The Middle Reel. It’s not in the middle of a set here, but, oh well…

The End of the Evening was written to try to capture the end of the night of a great session.  At a session like that, the tunes seem to flow effortlessly out of the players and lift everyone to a higher level musically and consciously. It’s the magic that we, as session players, always hope for, each time we’re at a session.  Sometimes it happens. Sometimes, not.

The morphing of the tune, at the end, from Irish reel to jazz trumpet is a tip of my cap to my love of playing jazz. Also, its an acknowledgement that all quality music influences other types of music, regardless of genre; and that we are all connected, in life, as well as in music.

Dmitri Alano: Flute, Piano, Trumpet

TH Gillespie, Piano (The End of the Evening)

Maggie Davis, Fiddle

Madeleine Willard: Fiddle

Mario Joven, Bass,Guitar

Ron Fife, Hand Percussion

 

 

14.  March

Found in the Indiana archives: The only identifying marker was, this, penciled on the 78 record’s label:

The Dead Last Ceili Band

 

 

Cover Art Info:

 

Front Cover:

On both the front and rear covers of the CD, I wanted to do something different than the obligatory, Irish band “standing in a forest” or “on the shores of Ireland” cover shot, so I took a page from my jazz background.

I’m a trumpet player and have played a fair amount of jazz, so the design is an homage to renowned trumpeter, Miles Davis.  I’m a huge fan of his music.  If you look up the cover of his Kind of Blue album, you’ll see the similarity.  My friend, Chris Deis, did all the photography for the album.  He did a great job!

 

Back Cover:

The back cover is also a tribute to Miles.  The design is a direct copy of his Round About Midnight album. The original vinyl album didn’t have any pictures on it, but the re-release (on CD) by Colombia Records has this design on it.  We even got down to the detail of the microphone cord on the floor, in the background! That’s my awesome Castagnari button accordion on the floor!

 

Inside Front Cover:

Obligatory Irish musician “standing in a forest”.  ‘nuff said…

 

Inside Back Cover:

These are all the instruments I play on the album.  The reading glasses are for the hours and hours I spent in front of the computer, mixing the CD.  Chris staged all the instruments.  And, it was Chris’s idea to have my hand putting the flute on the table.  It certainly gives the photo a more human character. It’s a great photo.