My New Tunes

2016-17 have been active years for composing new tunes in the Irish Traditional Music genre … 18 in ’16 (and 20 already in this Year of the Rooster) celebrating weddings, funerals, birthdays, breaking news items of cultural import … and still 4.25 months in the year left to go!

This is a new page for the new tunes, if anyone’s interested in playing them.

You’re welcome.


HAMMERED DULCIMERIST Bill Spence of Voorheesville, New York, has been performing and promoting traditional music for decades … he just had a birthday, so he’s in line for a birthday tune

“THE MIGHTY HAMMERS OF BILL” fits the breakdown genre and surely works as a contradance tune. Give it a try and surprise Bill when you meet at next year’s Old Songs Folk Festival he and his wife, Andy, co-founded Back in the Day.


I HAVE HAD THE great good fortune to meet and perform with many exceptional musicians over the years; one of the finest is Pipo Hernandez, a native of the Canary Islands who’s been making music in Austin, Texas, for a long time on guitar, charango and other indigenous strings with groups like Toqui Amaru, Panama Hats, Ed Miller and more.

“LA GUITARRA CANTANTE DE PIPO HERNANDEZ” (“The Singing Guitar of Pipo Hernandez”) starts out in a jota form (a dance idiom popular in Spain and the Canary Islands), then moves into something else altogether. ¡Feliz cumpleaños, señor!


FOR WELL OVER a century one of the strongest repositories of Irish Traditional Music in America has been the music club, from the Irish Music Club of Chicago and Irish Pipers’ Club of San Francisco of the early 1900s to the numerous CCE-affiliated branches flourishing today across the U.S.

Here’s AN MÁIRSEÁIL Úll MÓR, a musical tribute to Craobh Úll Mór (Big Apple Branch) of New York City, where you’ll find copious amounts of Irish traditional music, dance, song, language and stories, along with the people who perform, teach and enjoy them.

Why don’t you play along!


Here’s a sad yet noble tune:  The Piper Bill Ochs, composed late in 2016 in tribute to an excellent New York musician recently passed.


And here’s a recording of it:


BRUCE & MARY’S WEDDING – composed Sept. 28, 2016 for Bruce Foley and Mary Coogan, 2 outstanding musicians and human beings. Video clip here.


DON MEADE’S JIG – composed Sept. 18, 2016 on the occasion of Don receiving a well-deserved award from Craobh Úll Mór. Video clip here.


THE BASSMEISTER’S CHOICE (Hugh Sparks’ Hornpipe) – composed Sept. 3, 2016, for a legendary musician enjoying an epic 70th birthday.


GENEVIEVE & MICHAEL’S WEDDING – a planxty composed Aug. 24, 2016 in honor of 2 remarkable young people … and the wedding took place at Lyndhurst Mansion Castle (where the original Dark Shadows TV series was filmed).


BILL HARKER’S BLUE SUEDE FIDDLE – a birthday tune composed July 28, 2016 in honor of a fine New Jersey fiddler.


BOW TO THE BREEZE – composed July 24, 2016 in honor of master fiddler Seamus Connolly … I first heard Seamus play live in 1974 … have no earthly idea why it’s taken so long to compose a tribute tune for him, but better late than never.


PINE STREET PROMENADE – composed July 7, 2016 in honor of 2 great New Jersey musicians – fiddler Amy Beshara and multi-instrumentalist Max Carmichael. They play all over the Garden State … do yourself an immense favor and hear them.



*  The Piper Pat Sky
*  Larry Edelman’s Birthday Polka

*  Knocking a Squeeze Out of It (Pete Farley’s March)
*  Jane Kelton’s Birthday
*  The Pride of Derradda (Frank Curran’s Reel)
The Marbling Harp of Iris
Doug Barr’s Birthday
*  Paul Keating’s Birthday
*  Jim Brown’s Birthday

are on this adjoining site page.