Outside the Box

By Billy McComiskey

Five comments

Billy’s first solo recording since 1981’s “Makin‘ the Rounds”, this album is long overdue, but as you’ll find out, it’s been worth the wait. The tune selection which includes waltzes, a lullaby, a set dance, and a few O’Carolan tunes in addition to the usual reels, jigs, and hornpipes is a nice mix of original compositions and traditional tunes. It features Sean McComiskey (Billy’s son-- on accordian, the one Billy played on “Makin’ the Rounds”), John Doyle (guitar, bouzouki, mandola), Brendan Dolan (piano), Joanie Madden (flute, whistle), Liz Carroll (fiddle), Mick Moloney (banjo), Athena Tergis (fiddle), Matthew Bell (bodhran), and last but certainly not least Myron Bretholz (bodhran).

The liner notes are thorough and well written by Earle Hitchner and Mick Moloney. You learn of everything from his upbringing in Brooklyn (NY) to his establishing and cultivating of the Irish music scene in his longtime hometown of Baltimore (MD). You’re bound to learn something new about Billy even if you’re already familiar with him.

I could say plenty more about this recording of a man with whom I’m proud to share a hometown, but it would be easier for you to find out for yourself. Available at http://www.compassrecords.com.

(Be sure to check out his previous group recordings with The Irish Tradition and Trian if you want to hear more of his playing).

One more thing

Forgot to mention that Myron Bretholz (bodhran) also wrote the tune notes which eloquently traces each tune to Billy’s source.

Very happy to hear about this. I’ve seen a few of his ComhaltasLive clips and he hasn’t lost any of his old style.