The bodhran is an Irish frame drum (that may have its origins in Egypt -- one of the many musical mysteries of the ancient world); it can be an expressive and articulate supporting or solo instrument in the hands of a great player. One such Celtic drum artist is Colm Murphy. A well-known sideman in traditional folk groups in Ireland, An Bodhran: The Irish Drum is Murphy's first release as a leader/solo artist, and it is impressive, not only for devotees of Irish music. While his prodigious technique and rhythmic acumen are highly apparent, the album is not in any sense one long grand-standing drum solo. For the most part, he prefers his role as an accompanist, and features many fine soloists and ensemble players on instruments such as the tin whistle, accordion, fiddle, flute, uillean pipes, and bouzouki. Jigs, reels, and hornpipes abound, but these venerable folk musical forms are not just lively, but alive in the capable hands of Murphy and his mates. Highly recommended for Celtic, folk, or world music enthusiasts, or those new to the genre who seek a taste of the traditional.
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AllMusic Review by Gregg Juke