Alan Kelly

Fourmilehouse

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One of the most exciting and enjoyable Celtic albums of the year is this duet recording by brothers Alan Kelly and John Kelly, a straight-ahead set of traditional tunes played in an equally straight-ahead style on flute and piano accordion (with accompaniment by such illustrious sidemen as guitarist Arty McGlynn and bodhran player John Moloney). Perhaps because both of their resum├ęs are so impressive (they have played individually with such names as Niamh Parsons, Michael McGoldrick, and Sean Keane), neither musician seems to have much to prove; both play in a manner that keeps ornamentation to a tasteful minimum and tempos are generally moderate, all the better to enjoy gorgeous melodies like "The Old Road to Garry" and the melancholy air of "The Parting Glass." The interplay between John Moloney's bodhran and John Kelly's flute on "Cacus Reel" is one of the album's many highlights, and when Alan Kelly's accordion jumps in on the transition to "Lady on the Island," the effect is electric. Fourmilehouse is full of moments like that one and is very heartily recommended to all fans of traditional Irish music.

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