The Man Behind The Box

By Joe Derrane

Six comments

The Man Behind The Box

Fresh off the press by Mapleshade Records. A much awaited release. John Mc Gann on guitar/mandolin is once again providing top-notch accompaniment. (see The Boston Edge).

John McGann

John McGann actually leads th way in some of the tunes here, and his hornpipes on guitar on track 14 are simply sublime !
This is an outstanding album throughout.


Lots of great playing here, mainly with Joe leading but as noted, some tracks feature John McGann on mandolin/guitar.

Well worth getting the CD rather than just a download as there are extensive notes on the tunes and an interview with Joe, including the story of how he got the Gaillard box he plays on this CD.
Good stuff, though I personally prefer his playing on one of the big old American style multi-reed boxes.

The sleeve notes make a feature of the analogue studio where the recording was done, and the pure and simple microphone setup etc. Is that why the stereo image is so skewed to the left, and why when Joe and John share the lead you mainly hear Joe comping and you struggle to hear John! Hmmm, perhaps the notes are attempting to make a virtue of necessity. It doesn’t spoil the disk but it’s a pity.

The Man Behind The Box

I like this more than Joe’s other comeback albums (excepting the 1st) for the simple fact that the audio isn’t murky and cavernous. That stuff’s great for surf music et al, intricate box playing, not so much.