Classic Irish Fiddle Tunes no.3
Doctor Gilbert’s Reel
Doctor Gilbert (Doctor Gilbert’s/Doctor Gilbert’s Fancy/ Dispute at the Crossroads) is a true classic irish fiddle tune that has a long association with Sligo fiddling. It is a complex tune that meanders beautifully around the fiddle fingerboard. You’d probably have to have quite a few tunes under your belt to take it on. It’s hard to imagine a sweeter version than Andy McGann on ‘It’s a Hard Road to Travel‘. McGann of course once had a few lessons from Michael Coleman in his youth. There is plenty of opportunity to add ornaments in this tune, especially triplets.
The playing of or its comprehension is not easy so I’d advise quite a some decent playing experience first. It also play on the low ‘G’ string completing a span from high ‘B’ to low ‘A’ in the piece. Proof of it’s enduring nature is that it has been recorded by many of the greats in Irish Music. Michael Coleman was probably first to have recorded it on fiddle. There are many variations on the original, so much so as to create a different part. (e.g.Paddy Glackin on ‘The Spey in Spate’). Look out for more tunes coming in the Irish fiddle tunes series.
Download Doctor Gilbert’s
Commercial recordings of the Tune listed below.
Michael Coleman 1891-1945 Link Available to purchase.
Andy McGann & Paul Brady. Recorded on ‘It’s a Hard Road to Travel‘
Recorded on ‘Draw the Bow‘ By the Galway fiddler
Recorded on ‘ Here and There‘ by Seamus Connolly
A lively version on this album.
Recorded on ‘Bundle & Go‘ By Johnny Doherty.
John Vesey recorded on ‘Sligo Fiddler‘.