Various Artists

Come Dance with Me In Ireland: Classic Irish Dance Music

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The Claddagh label was founded in Dublin in 1959, and its catalog includes recordings by such eminent artists as piper Seamus Ennis, singer Dolores Keane, harper Derek Bell, fiddler Tommy Potts, and even Nobel Prize-winning poet Seamus Heaney. A licensing agreement with the Atlantic label in 1999 has led to the reissue of a number of recordings from the Claddagh back catalog, including the first four Chieftains albums and solo work by Derek Bell. Come Dance With Me in Ireland is a sampler of sorts, with 12 tracks culled from Claddagh releases dating back as far as 1969. At under 40 minutes in length, it's a bit skimpy as collections of previously-released material go, but there's no arguing with the quality. Among other gems, there's a great set of hornpipes played with an almost polka verve by Phil, John, and Pip Murphy, an exquisite rendition of "The Ace and Deuce of Pipering" by uilleann piper Gay McKeon, and a very fine jig set played on flute and pipes by Ronan Brown and Peter O'Loughlin. This is traditional Irish music of the relatively hardcore variety -- no synthesizers, no multi-tracked vocals, no electric basses. Highly recommended.

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