The Dusty Miller

By Conor, Gay And Seán McKeon

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Seven comments

A great CD for all players.

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BUZZZZZZZ! ~ & honey to the ears…

Damn those lads have got sets of pipes, and know how to bring them and the music to life.

I have had the great pleasure of a lend of this CD, courtesy of a friend and piper. I loved it so much I just let it play over and over again as I did my chores on wheels. It brought a smile immediately. It is unadulterated, meaning there’s no one, talented or not, considerate or not, adding anything extra by way of accompaniment. There is just such good cheer coming from this music, and it immediately reminded me of some of the best sessions I’ve had the pleasure to experience, in Ireland and elsewhere, Irish music or otherwise. I don’t mean hot flashy players out to prove something. This is one of those comfortable recordings that just makes me feel at home, somehow welcomed into the listen. I have absolutely no doubt what so ever I’d like these three, father and two sons, and my blessings on them and their families, with thanks to the clan of McKeon for increasing the piping fraternity with such talent.

Now I’ve got the goosebumps, as I try to understand and explain why it reminds me of a good session, and by this I do not mean fancy of fast or flash, I mean a welcoming at ease, comfort, like a warm fire in the grate. All you pipers and aspiring pipers out there - purchase this. There’s only pipes on it, nothing else, except, curiously, this humour, warmth and welcome I’m picking up through just the ears. Yes, I love it, and it is now on my list of must haves. I won’t gladly part with it when it is time to return it to its rightful owner.

Thanks for the pleasures McKeon, and the smile and the chuckle in it too. I’ve no doubt that any session any of you have any involvement in would be the sort I’d appreciate like a good hot whiskey and good company after a cold wet trek through the wilds of Ireland…

With much appreciation ~ ‘c’

The wife’s views ~

P.S. For those that know my lovely wife and her uncompromising opinions and strict and abrupt criticism of things - I’m not allowed to play some things when she’s about, and she is not shy in calling is shight when it is, either over blown ego-cizing or experimental blah-ism. This she liked, very much, and commented on it as we drove home with in playing through the car. These pipers she enjoyed and had a smile and positive comments for.

Cd return

I have had classes with both Gay and Sean. And I love their playing. Just sit and listen! I’m sure I’ll get my cd back one day!

I’d never deny you that pleasure… 😉

However ~ What’s missing?! ~

I mean aside from the sometimes interference and at times unwelcomed distraction of accompaniment, especially when it is banging percussion or twanging strings.

While some have the time, interest and passion to even include a booklet of notes, as included in my recently welcomed acquisition of “Na Fir Bolg”, Jack Talty & Cormac Begley, there wasn’t the same to say for this recording. I pulled out the jacket insert with the hopes to find more on these three talents entertaining me on the recording, but, alas, aside from a short and welcomed note from dear Sean Potts ~ NOTHING! There’s two BLANK sides. What a waste of an opportunity. No, it doesn’t lessen my enjoyment of this lovely playing, but it would have enhanced it, raised the value of the package. Yes, I missed it and was disappointed.

Now, second and not really minor, but something not unusual with pipers it seems ~ what cost a little smile? Why look so serious and dire? Aren’t you enjoying what you’re doing? It sounds it to my ears, but looking at the photos - and one includes that curious look aside some pipers seem to take, possibly to aim the one ear toward the source of the music. But why not enjoy it in that fuller dimension of stereo? I do wish pipers would bother to show some expression of enjoyment when playing. Surely it can’t be all that painful and intense? Relax, please, and smile, laugh, even if just lightly. Taking it too seriously is bad for the health, and smiling and laughter is good for the soul, and the music too.

Another depressing example of this is the cover for Liam O’Flynn’s flight of fancy “The Given Note”. Lighten up Liam! But then, that recording is pretty awful, despite the evident skill and talent… 😀 He has done some daft things…

And - glad and appreciative I am of that absence of ‘accompaniment’…