Grey Larsen

The Green House

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AllMusic Review by

The respected Irish flutist and concertina player Grey Larsen teams up with guitarist and bodhran player Paddy League on this beautiful and unexpectedly gentle collection of traditional Irish tunes. Usually a program like this, especially when performed by a player of Larsen's skill, would be a showcase for flashy technique, but he and League take a different tack, treating each tune as a jewel to be polished and presented for its own beauty rather than as a chance to show off. The result is an album of unusual loveliness. Highlights include the opening set of reels, on which League's bodhran playing is especially impressive and shows the effects of his tabla studies, and a sweet rendition of Turlough O'Carolan's "O'Carolan's Draught," on which the artist plays concertina in a very straightforward, unadorned style. At the end of the disc are three tracks featuring conversation and a performance of "The Cuckoo's Nest" by the Irish melodeon player Michael J. Kennedy. These last tracks bear no obvious relation to the rest of the album (though Larsen and League do perform "The Cuckoo's Nest" themselves earlier in the program), but are lots of fun nevertheless. Highly recommended.

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