Reel, A Dorian, Irish (Attributed to Joe Mills)
A very popular Irish session and dance tune, its title commemorates the 31st International Eucharistic Congress held in Dublin, Ireland in 1932. Authorship of the tune is attributed to Joe Mills, button accordion player and founding member of east Galway’s Aughrim Slopes Céilí Band. He emigrated from Ireland to the United States in 1958. (See the Additional Resources section below for more about Joe Mills and the International Eucharistic Congress.)
- Video – Kevin Burke’s Open House: Untitled Reel/Queen Of The May/The Congress – from the album Open House (Kevin Burke and Mark Graham, Paul Kotaphis, Sandy Silva; Produced by Mícheál O’Domhnaill. The Congress Reel begins at time 2:40 in this recording.)
- Video – Chris Droney: The Congress Reel/Come West Along the Road/The Dawn – played on concertina. From the album Down From Bell Harbour
- Video – Paddy Glackin & Paddy Keenan: Reels: The Mountain Road / The Congress Reel – from the album Doublin’. (The Congress Reel starts at time 1:15 in this recording.)
Sheet Music (Dots)
As always for traditional tunes, the musical notation and chords do not indicate the “right” way to play the tune, but are a useful reference.
Play from the Dots
Examples of sets that include this tune.
- Congress Reel Set: Sheehan’s Reel / The Congress / The Reconciliation
- Lady Ann Montgomery / Congress reel / The Reconciliation
- The Mountain Road / The Galway Rambler / The Congress
References and Resources
For those who want to dig deeper, here are some other resources.
- More Recordings
- Audio – Castlerock (Slowplayers): The Congress – played at a slow tempo on flute and fiddle. From the album Session Tunes volume 1 by Castlerock. Angeline LeLeux (fiddle) and William Bajzek (flute), who produced the album under the name “Slowplayers” later renamed their duo “Castlerock.” (Mt. Vernon, Washington, USA)
- Video – Tergal14 (Frederic Bourgeois): Congress Reel – played on tenor banjo
- Book – Stephen Ducke: Irish Music 400 Traditional Tunes
- Book – 100 Essential Irish Session Tunes, by Dave Mallinson (Mally Productions), with accompanying audio tracks.
- Book – The Portland Collection, Contra Dance Music in the Pacific Northwest, Volume 2, by Susan Songer with Clyde Curley.
- Lesson – Fiddle Studio (Megan Beller): The Congress – Irish Reel – fiddle with guitar; video demonstration of the tune played at dance tempo and then slowly; with sheet music
- Lesson – TheBanjoBuddy (James Finnegan): The Congress Reel – Traditional Irish Music Tutorial – tenor banjo lesson; video with sheet music and tablature.
- Lesson – Online Academy of Irish Music: The Congress Reel – DADGAD guitar accompaniment for the tune; play-along track; virtual pub session. (Requires subscription to OAIM.)
- Lesson – Pickin’ Lessons: Congress Reel Mandolin Lesson – mandolin lesson for only part A of the tune. (The full lesson requires a subscription to Pickin’ Lessons.)
- Additional Resources
- Article – Jonathan Lay (TrailJams): Dorian, Mixolydian, Oh My: Modes in a Nutshell
- Article – Wikipedia: Eucharistic Congress of Dublin
- Article – Irish Traditional Music Archive: Joe Mills – paragraph on Joe Mills with group photograph