Cover the Buckle CD cover

CD $15

Digital Download $10

Cover the Buckle

A Collection of Irish Set Dances for Listening and Dancing

  • Seán Clohessy fiddle
  • Sean McComiskey button accordion and tin whistle
  • Kieran Jordan percussive dance
  • With special guests:
  • Josh Dukes, bouzouki, guitar, 12-string guitar
  • Matt Mulqueen piano
  • Produced by Kieran Jordan

“Cover the Buckle is a delightful and wonderfully nuanced album.  It was made primarily with dancers in mind. However, the music’s sweetness also makes it an album for listeners. All of it comes together to in such a way that artfully showcases the important connection between the music and the dance.  If you’re a dancer, this musico-terpsichorean endeavor is a must have. Folks who love rich, relaxed playing will want this one as well. Great stuff!” Read full article. — Dan Neely, Irish Echo

“A clear–eyed musical concept in a natural collaborative flow, all beautifully articulated in the music and dance across Cover the Buckle. Acclaimed dance artist Kieran Jordan describes Cover The Buckle as set dance music designed for dance teachers and students, tune learners and tune listeners. It’s that, and more.”   Read full article.
— Deirdre Cronin, Irish Music Magazine

“The playing is crisp and bright, and while conscious of tempo and rhythm, is hardly stiff and regimented – the discourse between music and dance is especially apparent on the tracks in which Jordan appears, such as “Mount Phoebus Hunt”; and in fact, Clohessy and McComiskey transform the tune into a reel, an idea they came up with practically on the spot during rehearsal for the album, Jordan notes. That spur-of-the-moment spirit also is manifested by Clohessy’s “Here we go!” exhortation at the start of “The Priest and His Boots,” a particularly lively number that feels like it could (and should) go on forever.” — Sean Smith, Boston Irish Reporter

“When I first heard this recording in Kieran Jordan’s house in Boston, I was truly impressed with the musicianship, the precision of the dance steps, and the whole approach to the playing of the set dances, incorporating some very pleasing variations, innovations and a few surprises. A delightfully uplifting CD that never loses interest, and that’s equally good to listen to, as well as to dance to.”
— Michael Tubridy

“Fellow Irish dancers and Irish music lovers, my friend Kieran Jordan has just finished a new CD of Irish set dance tunes, and it is easily the most authentic, spirited, and beautiful CD I’ve heard of Irish dance music. As a teacher, choreographer, and performer of Irish dance, especially sean-nos and “old-style” step dance, Kieran has always worked closely with musicians and has a fully-integrated cultural and holistic understanding of what Irish music is, at its core, and of its ability to inspire. This CD inspires! It is not your usual Irish dance music! Get it if you have any interest in Irish music and/or dance. Nice job, Kieran, Seán Clohessy, and Sean McComiskey!”
— Maryellen Snyder Malloy

In 2014, I asked Sean McComiskey and Seán Clohessy — two friends whose music, for years, has lifted my feet and my spirits — to work with me on a new CD of set dance music, designed for dance students and dance teachers, as well as tune learners and tune listeners. The guys agreed, and Cover the Buckle was born.

The term “cover the buckle” shows up in many historical descriptions of Irish dance, alluding to the name of a tune, the name of a dance, the name of a particular movement or step, and the overall display of step dancing itself. The buckle in question refers to the shiny silver buckles which adorned the shoes of the 18th and 19th century itinerant dance masters.

An Irish “set dance” is both a tune and a dance — a musical composition, and a specific set of solo steps designed to match. This CD features well-known solo set dance tunes, like “The Garden of Daisies,” “The Blackbird,” “St. Patrick’s Day,” and more, plus a few unusual ones and personal favorites. The tunes are lively and energizing, played at dance-friendly tempos for traditional style step dancing. Each tune starts with a short intro and includes full AABB parts (for right and left foot repeats of the dancing). My own new choreography and percussive steps can be heard on a few tracks as well. With sublime playing from Seán Clohessy and Sean McComiskey and creative accompaniment from Josh Dukes and Matt Mulqueen, this CD breathes new life into the old tunes — shattering the sometimes-static ‘dance class’ approach and offering new possibilities for how these tunes feel, and how they might be danced.

Music on the recording:

  1. Mount Phoebus Hunt / The Hunted
  2. The Job of Journeywork
  3. The Humours of Bandon / Miss Brown’s Fancy
  4. O’Carolan’s Draught
  5. Jockey To the Fair
  6. The Blackbird
  7. The Priest and His Boots
  8. St. Patrick’s Day
  9. Madame Bonaparte
  10. Queen of the Faeries / King of the Fairies
  11. Maggie Pickins
  12. Three Ducks and a Goose
  13. The Garden of Daisies
  14. The Three Sea Captains
  15. The Oslo Waltz / Augusta Waltz