James Kelly / Paddy O'Brien / Daíthí Sproule

Traditional Music of Ireland

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AllMusic Review by

This disc might look overwhelming to the neophyte or casual listener: 53 traditional tunes spread out over 27 tracks, 74 minutes of music in all, played by a bare-bones ensemble of fiddle, accordion, and guitar. And indeed, it's not an easy album to sit through all at once; while the featured instrumental combination is a lovely one, it's a sound that starts to wear after 45 minutes or so and makes this disc most effective when taken in measured doses. But that shouldn't deter lovers of Irish music -- or even those who are simply interested in it -- from diving in headfirst. James Kelly, Paddy O'Brien, and Daíthí Sproule are all virtuosic players who invest these tunes with an almost offhand grace that flirts with sloppiness but never gives in to it. Sproule's singing voice is good if not perfect (as opposed to his guitar playing, which is), and he chimes in at opportune moments, just before the fiddle/accordion/guitar texture gets monotonous. Best of all, this album works as an extensive catalog of traditional jigs, reels, and airs, from familiar numbers like "The Rights of Man" and "The Rakes of Kildare" to more obscure tunes, all played at moderate tempos with consummate taste and without grandstanding or pyrotechnics.

Track Listing

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
1
1:55
2
2:25
3
2:55
4
4:27
5
2:07
6
3:05
7
2:09
8
2:15
9
2:27
10
2:11
11
3:21
12
2:26
13
3:31
14
2:42
15
2:41
16
3:02
17
2:42
18 4:25
19
2:50
20
1:50
21
2:56
22
2:36
23
2:59
24
4:18
25
2:25
26
1:48
27
2:04
blue highlight denotes track pick