From the recording O'Hara's Cup / Gusty's Frolics
Twenty years ago I was living in Berkeley, CA, working for AKG Acoustics' U.S. office. In the evenings I regularly volunteered to mix sound at the Freight & Salvage, Berkeley's long-time folk club and a wonderful place. One night I was lucky enough to mix sound for Duck Baker and John Renbourn. Duck mentioned he was living in the City and teaching guitar lessons. I approached him after the gig and began going over for lessons to the apartment Duck shared with the wonderful old time fiddler Hal Hughes in the Mission. I worked my way through all of Duck's arrangements of old time American and traditional Irish tunes and got started in the world of "celtic" music for fingerstyle guitar. Duck was actually the first to teach me DADGAD tuning on the guitar, he used it for most of the arrangements for his wonderful holiday music album, "The Salutation," now a rare cassette. He then abandoned the tuning, but I kept at it and now use it pretty much exclusively. So these two tunes are arrangements of Duck's that I've re-worked and modified to DADGAD tuning, which I find makes them easier to play cleanly. O'Hara's Cup was written in the early 1700's by the great Irish harper Turlough O'Carolan as a "planxty" (a tribute piece) to one of his hosts as he travelled to the great houses of Ireland where he'd be a welcomed guest. Gusty's Frolics is an interesting slipjig that was the title track of Sean Kane's first solo fiddle album in the mid 1960's. I play my '34 Martin 000-18 on this track.