Saturday, January 16, 2016

Interview with Liz Carroll: Part Three

I've had loads of fun with this interview series. Sadly, this is the third and final part. However, I do hope you've had a great time learning all-things Liz. This post is all about albums. Enjoy!

If you haven't yet read parts one and two, here they are:

This past Summer, Liz and I sat down to chat in an interview format. What follows is the last of three interview transcripts of our conversation adapted for print posting.  
When did you record your 1st album?
I believe the first album was recorded in 1976, but came out in 1977. It was with Tommy Maguire, called Kiss Me Kate.
What have been some of your favorite recording collaborations?
There has been plenty of them. I enjoyed recording with Billy McComiskey and Daithi Sproule. I loved playing with John Doyle. I have recorded with a lot of nice little combos such as String Sisters and Cherish the Ladies. There’s nothing like Joanie Madden. I love playing with her when she switches tunes and says, “Doing it again, doll.” She’s really great to be on stage with. But the favorites are endless.
How did you decide what tunes to put on your most recent album, On the Off Beat?
The Yellow Tinker is a great traditional tune. I thought, “What can I do with it?” I always wanted to do something with that tune. Then, I had written other tunes I wanted to record. But, I wasn’t sure how the world would view that. Maybe they would say, “Will she stop doing that and stick with trad?” I thought the next album might be a completely traditional thing where I just mess around with trad tunes, no newly composed tunes. I have been thinking about recording one of the legendary fiddler’s repertoire. Like Michael Coleman. What if I took it and did what I wanted to it? Adding my own variations to the tunes. Then I thought that might sound really arrogant so, I might just play my favorites of the trad tunes. That’s hard for me to choose because I like everything.

You played a track, The Wolf and The Duck, on your recent albumThe track was composed for Peter and the Wolf. How did that come about?
The Wolf and the Duck were going to be part of an Irish version of Peter and the Wolf. Recording was set for November, in Scotland but it fell through in October. I wrote tunes for all the characters. After the recording fell through, I asked the other musicians, Seamus Egan and Sean Og Graham if they would like to just record a solo album with me, because I had all these tunes and now nothing to do with them. We made some changes because Kevin Burke was going to tell the story and the characters had Irish names. I used the Liam Child’s slip jig with the other tunes I had written for Childsplay in Boston, but I kinda wanted to do them for myself, too. 
How many albums have you recorded?
With my name on them as being really involved, and not counting any compilations, I’d say eleven or twelve.
Are there any people whose albums have influenced yours?
Plenty. I am always listening. I really like Darol Anger, a consummate musician, who has done a couple of albums. One of them is called The Republic of Strings. It’s really interesting listening to this gang of fiddlers in the Americana world, such as Darol, Brittany Haas, Jeremy Kittel, and Mark O’Connor. Some of the new, really young players coming up are unbelievable. I have started listening to the early Chieftains’ albums again. They were very influential to me growing up. I did like the Joe Burke, Sean Maguire, and Bobby Gardner albums when I was a kid. Anything and everything that was coming out then. I think it’s great for musicians to constantly check what’s coming out and add what they like to their playing.

Note: Liz Carroll’s newest album, On the Off Beat, is available for purchase here:

Don’t ask me which tune is my favorite—I love them all!

1 comment:

  1. It would be awesome if Liz would record an album of all traditional tunes. I love her compositions, but there's something about hearing her take on the old tunes that's just mind-blowing every time. I might even suggest she go one step further and make it completely unaccompanied -- something like MacDara Ó Raghallaigh's "Ego Trip".


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