Simple System

By Dan Isaacson

  1. McGreevy’s
    Paddy Kelly’s
    The Flowers Of Munster
  2. O’Callaghan’s
    Madam, If You Please
  3. The Honeymoon
    The Curragh Races
  4. Pat The Bugie
    The Steeplechase
  5. The Diamond
    The Primrose
  6. Dave & Dan’s
  7. The Antrim Rose
    The Windy Gap
  8. Oiche Fa Fheile Brise (On Brigid’s Eve)
    Splendid Isolation
    The Nervous Man
  9. Highland Gan Ainm
    Highland Gan Ainm
    Highland Gan Ainm
  10. Barndance Gan Ainm
    Barndance Gan Ainm
  11. The California
    Memories Of Clare
  12. Touch Me If You Dare
    The Cottage In The Grove
  13. Fitzgerald’s
    O’Callaghan’s Low
  14. I’m Waiting For You
    The Reel Of Bogie
  15. The Lark In The Strand
    Jig Gan Ainm
    Jig Gan Ainm

Four comments

Traditional Irish Music for the Flute: With and Without Company

This is Dan’s first solo CD. He previously recorded two CDs with his band The Magic Square (; On this CD he plays flute, bouzouki, uilleann pipes, and whistle. About half of the tracks on this CD are solo tracks, and then he has a little help from his friends in various other combinations. Although now residing in Baltimore (Maryland, USA), Dan enlisted help from his friends in Virginia, Boston, and probably a few other places I’m missing. Dan is joined by Danny Noveck (fiddle, guitar), Aaron Olwell (flute, fiddle, concertina), Kelly Smit (Sean-nos dance), and Matthew Olwell (bodhran, fee, Cajon).

“Simple System” contains traditional tunes as well as tunes composed by Tommy Peoples (a playing partner/musical influence of Dan’s when he lived in Boston), John McGreevy, Billy McComiskey (The Diamond, a waltz Billy wrote for Dan and his fiancee Kelly who dances on the recording), Paddy O’Brien, and Brendan McGlinchey.

The “Simple System” (as Dan explains in the liner notes) refers to the technical name that was given to wooden flutes used in traditional Irish music today that were originally played in orchestras before the invention of silver flutes. It also refers to the simple methods that Dan used to record the album. It was recorded in a room built onto a friend’s house that was designed to have great acoustics for both house parties and making recordings. The production is fantastic, but it’s not overdone like some recordings nowadays tend to be.

Other kind words are offerred on the liner notes by Billy McComiskey who writes “Dan Isaacson has the gimp in his music, as an Irishman once put it. The gimp is that studied, respectful, mastery of the art form we call Irish Traditional Music. And it is a rare and beautiful thing.”

Tommy Peoples praises the recording by saying “…the playing speaks of fun times, times past, present times, many rhythms that rhyme, composers and tunes old and new, beautiful melodies, connections, friendships, sharing and caring, old ways, lasting ways, from the heart to the heart, and all mentioned, passed on or living, present, with love and a smile.”

To purchase this CD (and you definitely should), go to Ossian USA ( or Dan’s website (should be up and running soon).

Hear! Hear!

Acquired a copy of this at the weekend -- thanks Dan -- and have listened to it several times since. I have to back up Jason’s kind words. Very strong, straight-forward playing, no fuss. Nice variety of tune types, instruments and treatment. The sean-nos stepping is a great wee touch too. Fair play to yez, Dan and friends!

This is a great one!

Highly recommended! I keep coming back to Pat The Bugie/The Steeple Chase in particular. Great respect with the tradition and a sense of fun. A charming CD.