Various Artists

20 Best of Jigs, Reels & Hornpipes of Ireland

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This collection of instrumental music features a half dozen Irish groups, such as the Duggans, Martin Donohoe, and Parson's Hat. The instruments are usually not specified, but they are varied. "The Mason's Apron," by Jonny Óg Connolly, features accordion and what sounds like a dancer providing foot percussion. "Road to Granard/Gallagher's Frolics/Out on the Ocean" by Parson's Hat sounds like a flute, accordion, harp, guitar, and maybe a bouzuki. They make a very pretty, lilting sound. Sometimes the sound is pleasantly raucous, as on "Inis Caltrach/Toss the Feathers" by Iorras Aithneach and Pádraig Mac Donncha. Synthesizers even put in an appearance on Martin Donohoe's "Westland/Guns of the Magnificent Seven." This track is a bit slower than most of the others, but it doesn't drag. Tomas O'Ceannabhain, on his one track, interjects a lively bagpipe (backed by piano) into several hornpipes. The music is all competent and interesting, and some of it is wonderful. By ARC standards, the documentation is quite good. A decent collection if you want some solid, well-played Gaelic tunes.

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