Maid at the Well – Tony O’Rourke

CD cover for The Maid at the WellIrish music on guitar and banjo

Recorded in Melbourne, Australia

Available to purchase for download on CD BabyiTunes, Amazon, and other online stores.

Track listing

  1. Paddy Kelly's/Pip Murphy's
  2. Mist Covered Mountain/Bernie Cunnion's
  3. Maul Miller/Galway Rambler/Morning Star
  4. Swedish Jig/Caliope
  5. Congress Reel/Eileen Curran
  6. The Essence of Spring (composer: Tony O'Rourke)
  7. Golden Castle/Gan Ainm
  8. Daniel O'Connell/Fahy's/The Maid at the Well
  9. The Bellharbout Reel/The Corner House
  10. Green Fields of America/Flower of the Flock
  11. Eavesdropper/Blackthorn Stick/Dan Collins
  12. Chief O'Neills/The Silver Spire
  13. Pat Murphy's Meadow
  14. Hardiman the Fiddler/Give Us a Drink of Water
  15. Padraig Na Carra/Green Fields of America
  16. McDermott's/The Rising Spring

Sleeve notes

.. and what a deep well it is. Music. When we begin to thirst for more, we draw from the well. Living far from the main centres of Irish music is no longer the obstacle it once was. Tapes, books, videos, all the products of our modern age have become part of the educational process. But for all these marvellous inventions, it is still the personal contact one makes with other musicians that inspires. It would make me proud to know that my music contains some of that inspiration...

- Tony O'Rourke


  • Tony O'Rourke - Guitar, Banjo
  • Martin Austin - Rhythm Guitar
  • Kathleen Cranage - Piano

Recorded at Move Records Melbourne 1996. Recording Engineer Vaughan McAlley. Mixing/editing Martin Wright. Design Janice McBride.

About the music

1. Paddy Kelly's/Pip Murphy's

Two tunes that I learnt from concertina player Catherine Custy during her visit to Australia in 1994.

2. Mist Cover Mountain/Bernie Cunnion's

I learnt both of these tunes on the banjo but they adapted well to the guitar.

3. Maud Miller/Galway Rambler/Morning Star

Three popular single reels. The unusual chord pattern in the last reel had its genesis in the Martin Hayes Trio.

4. Swedish Jig/Calliope

Both of these jigs are played in "dropped D" (D A D G B E)

5. Congress Reel/Eileen Curran

Both A minor reels but played in an A Major tuning (E A C# E A E)! By fingering the 3rd fret of the C# string I effectively neutralize the Major.

6. The Essence of Spring

I composed this tune sometime around 1980 although the name for it was suggested to me by a music aficionado during my brief visit to Tasmania in 1994.

7. Golden Castle/Gan Ainm

These hornpipes are "banjofied" versions of a recording made by Josephine Marsh, a fine accordion player from Clare.

8. Daniel O Connell/Fahy's/The Maid at the Well

I've changed the keys of these three to suit the guitar, C major/D minor/F major.

9. Bellharbour Reel/The Corner House

Two of my favourite reels, they seem to go well together.

10. Green Fields/Flower of the Flock

This was the first set I ever played in open D (D A D F# A D) tuning. This tuning adds an unusual texture to these often played tunes.

11. Eavesdropper/Blackthorn Stick/Dan Collins

Some old favourites that I think everyone would have heard, but with some new ideas.

12. Chief O'Neills/Sliver Spire

Chief Francis O'Neill was a police chief and tune collector and responsible for "O'Neill's Music of Ireland", the source of many of the tunes on this recording. The Silver Spire is a recent addition to Irish music repertoire.

13. Pat Murphy's Meadow

Of course Ireland is well known for its sentimental ballads and I couldn't resist doing just one.

14. Hardiman the Fiddler/Give Us a Drink of Water

A couple of slip jigs from the aforementioned O'Neill's collection.

15. Padraig na Carra/The Maid in the Meadow

Teh guitar is tuned to open A (E A C# E A E). The first tune was learnt from Arty McGlynn and the second is an adaption of the reel "Green Fields of America", but here played as a jig, an idea I heard from banjo player Kevin Griffin.

16. McDermott's/The Rising Spring

I play these reels on my higher pitched banjo (C G D A) instead of the regular (G D A E).

Gerry GaffneyMaid at the Well – Tony O’Rourke