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O'Carolan's Harmonica

by Tony Eyers

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John Drury 02:10
Shady Grove 02:41
Fanny Power 03:15
The Wren 02:37


Liner notes:

"O’Carolan was a blind 18th Century itinerant Irish harpist, whose tunes are still widely played. While influenced by baroque composers, his style was unique. Half the tunes here are his, the others are from traditional sources. The setting is unusual, a harmonica band combined with string instruments. The harmonicas use the Major Cross tuning, which I developed in the 1990s to better match the swift tempos common to the traditional repertoire."

This album comes almost 20 years after my first, "Black Mountain Harmonica", released in 2003. The idea for both projects has been the same, traditional tunes arranged for multiple harmonicas and a string band.

I included two O'Carolan tracks my earlier release, many folk liked these the best. So this new album has six O'Carolan tracks, and bears his name. I've always been deeply touched by his music, along with countless others since his tunes first appeared in the 18th century.

My brother Quentin Eyers recorded everything except the harmonicas, played bass, guitar, piano and drums, and engineered it all beautifully. Andrew Clermont has been in my music crowd for 40 years, Catherine Fraser I've just met. Both add grace and mighty skill to this project.

I was barely known in the harmonica world in 2003, when my first album appeared. Now I have many international harmonica friends, through festivals I've attended and various virtual gatherings. I'm particularly glad to be part of the Seydel harmonica family. In 2017 they released a model which bears my name and has the Major Cross tuning used for this recording.

Tony Eyers: Harmonicas
Quentin Eyers: Guitar (2,6), Bass, Piano, Drums
Andrew Clermont: Mandolin, Guitar
Catherine Fraser: Fiddle
Recorded at Helena Studios Sydney and Quentin Eyers Music Adelaide Sept-Nov 2021
Engineered and mastered by Quentin Eyers
Produced by Tony Eyers
Photography by Gary Crockett
Cover Design by Riccardo Tossani


released November 21, 2021




Tony Eyers Sydney, Australia

Tony Eyers is well known in the harmonica world for his traditional tune recordings. His Major Cross harmonica tuning, developed for the traditional repertoire, has been adopted by the Seydel harmonica company. He bas been a judge four times at the Asia Pacific Harmonica Festival, and has taught widely through his Harmonica Academy site. ... more

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