The tunes are nice. They are mostly very old tunes taken from various manuscripts and collections (Grier, Breathnach, Petrie, O’Neill etc). I think he is a very good piper too. I don’t fully understand the dynamics of piping and its different styles but he sounds quite tight to me. I don’t like the accompaniment however. While Michael Rooney is a great harp player and Jens Kommnick is a good guitar accompanist, I personally don’t think piping should be accompanied. That’s just a personal thing though. The tracks with Deirdre McNamara (Brian’s sister I think) on concertina make for an interesting duet.
I love this CD. I’ve been listening to it quite a bit lately. I love Michael Rooney’s accompaniment. I wouldn’t like it if the pipes were all going full blast but the typical Brian M restraint is set off quite nicely by the harp. I hate the drones and regulators *unless* the pipes are going solo. IMHO the pipes mess things up with regulators and drones when they are set against other instruments.
I also love the CD with Tim Collins, Reed Only. Both Tim and Brian are wonderful players.
Haul Her Accross the Road
in the liner notes, he mentions that this was taken straight from the Grier collection and that “no other reference to this tune have been found to date.” listening to this tune, i find it bears a striking similarity to the jig Pat McGillarney as recorded by Na Fili - obviously a close variation of this tune.