Matt Molloy / Seán Keane

Contentment Is Wealth

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To an aspiring Irish flute player, the experience of hearing Matt Molloy is a thrilling one tinged with despair. How can anyone play like that? But for lovers of Celtic music who don't feel the need to compare themselves to the musician, the response is more straightforward: pleasurable awe. On this album, Molloy teams up with fiddler and fellow Chieftains member Sean Keane (and, on several tracks, Arty McGlynn on guitar) for a bracing set of traditional tunes both familiar and obscure. Keane is an outstanding fiddler, not as immediately recognizable as Molloy, but no less skillful, and their blend is remarkable. They almost sound like one instrument on "The London Lasses," and on the midtempo reel "George White's Favorite." Other highlights include Molloy's solo turn on "Kitty in the Lane" (accompanied by a nice guitar pedal-point courtesy of McGlynn) and the lovely "Seamus Ennis' Jig." The production could have been a bit more consistent: the instruments sound closer on some cuts than on others. That's a quibble, though.

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