17 March 2017
Come down from the mountain, Katie Daly
The ode to Irish whiskey ballad Come Down from the Mountain, Katie Daly, is a favorite of Appalachian bluegrass bands, which, like the Lonesome River Band, usually begin with the first verse, “With her old man, Katie came from Tipperary,” and sing with a clothespin on their nose drone. It’s also a favorite of Irish country music musicians like Mike Denver, who, backed by drums and horns as well as fiddles and guitars, deliver melodious, rollicking performances, and begin with the chorus. I much prefer Katie Daly played country style.
Mike Denver’ version, delivered in his rich, powerful, baritone, is the best, but the video of his performance has been removed from YouTube. As a substitute, here’s Irish fiddler Dessie O’Halloran’s version from a Sharon Shannon concert. As a young man, O’Halloran had silver pipes. But now, writes one hyperbolic reviewer, he sings like a “goat undergoing rectal surgery.” There’s a lot going on in this video — turn off the sound, watch the banjoist in the red shirt, and you’ll still be entertained.