Pure Traditional Irish Fiddle Music: Brothers Together

By Sean McGuire and Jim McGuire

Four comments

Sean McGuire & Jim McGuire ~ brothers together, a tribute to their father

Outlet Recording Co. Ltd. - PTICD 1055

Another curious release from the archives of Outlet. I had to have this, not as a fan of Sean, but as someone who has had the pleasure of sharing music and good times and laughter with his brother Jim, much missed. Jim appreciated all sorts of music, including Irish. I never sensed any pretence or pomp, or competition, just a clear and definite love and appreciation for music and for sharing it with others. He is missed.

Sadly there are no useful notes with this recording, but that was not uncommon for Outlet. I’ll return to check things out against the recording and make any correction, unless someone else does so before I do, always appreciated. ;-)

Boom! Boom! Boom! Boom! Boom! Boom! Boom! Boom! Boom! Boom! Boom! :-o :-p

Mostly this is awful, in some places dreadfully so, like the butchering of Tom Anderson’s lovely air, track 4. The accompaniment in all cases is dire ~ BOOM! BOOM! BOOM! ~ YUCK!, twinklin’ electric guitar ~ a pain! The awful accompaniment is impossible to ignore as it’s louder than the fiddle(s). Under its dominance the duets aren’t bad, and Jim’s contributions are OK. What Sean does to the music is just silly, and, as already mentioned, with the tune "Da Auld Restin’ Chair" ~ Blewch! :-P :-(

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1. ) reel: Sean McGuire/Maguire ~ the bass accompaniment is hell, awful, oppressive, heavy, and the fiddling, silly, not my cup of tea.

2. ) reels: Sean & Jim ~ Same damned bass, up front and plodding, but the duet is OK.

3. ) hornpipe: Jim ~ the fiddling is OK, raised a smile of familiarity despite the inteference of the persistant and dominating cack accompaniment.

4. ) air: Sean ~ UGH! ~ he ruins Tom Anderson’s air, absolutely no understanding or respect, and with those awful persistent accompaniments helping to trash an otherwise fine melody. This is AWFUL!!! :-P

5. ) reels: Sean

6. ) jigs: Sean & Jim ~ aside from the continued intrusion of awful accompaniment, it ain’t bad, and there was a smile of failiarity, trying to listen through it all for Jim’s take on it especially, at times not hard with Sean doing daft additional accompaniments…

7. ) reel: Sean

8. ) reel: Sean

9. ) reels: Sean & Jim ~ OHHHHH! The accompaniment really is that terrible. I’ll need industrial strength pain meds after this. The fiddling duet is at times quite nice, and yes, a little smile managed to escape here too, through the pain…

10. ) hornpipe: Sean

11. ) waltz: Jim ~ what waltz? Sorry Jim, but this is played more like an air rather than as a waltz, and the accompaniment, as has been consistent, remains silly and useless, in the way, plodding, even worse in 3/4 time, if you could call it that. Maybe if the accompanists had been able to carry a waltz, had some minute amount of understanding, it might have come together as a waltz? It wasn’t there…

12. ) reel: Sean

13. ) hornpipes: Sean & Jim ~ this is quite fun, Sean’s silly bits aside, and the accompaniment which remains in the way and stinkin’ things up like big steaming ever present turds. The turds aside, t was obvious that at times the brothers were having fun with these two hornpipes and playing them together…

14. ) reel: Sean ~ no surprises here, he’d have to end it, and as a solo… :-/

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The accompaniment on this recording, possibly added after the fact, is not just DREADFUL, IT IS DISGUSTING!!!

Oh how I wish I could remove all this in your ears and up front and plodding accompaniment, which is really HORRID ~ BASS, CHORDS, SILLY ELECTRIC GUITAR TINKLIN’ & KEYBORED - - - AAAAAAAA!!! - - - There isn’t much worth keeping on this recording, aside from Jim’s contributions, and that might mostly just be for memory’s sake, my light bias, an affection for the man and his music. Sean is his usual over the top and silly show-off weirdness, right down to the final bars… It’s not the tune that is important, it’s what he can do to it, what he can draw your attention to. The duets, if it weren’t for the accompaniment, would be passable, OK. That damned BOOM! BOOM! BOOM! is headache generating. And, no surprises there, the production values are OUTLET, are poor…

For whatever reasons, to my ears Sean’s playing sounds more American: country - bluegrass - competition fiddle, than Irish… And no, whatever his talents, it’s not for me. I don’t like it… My ears are meant for better things. :-D

I wish I had the names of the accompanists, they deserve credit here for making such an awful mess of this.

Ear Protection:

If you have to have this, as I did, turn the BASS down completely, or, even better, you’ll have a nice equalizer and can cut off at a point where you get more fiddle than accompaniment, though you’ll never be free of it completely. I’ve tried. :-D

“Seán and Jim McGuire: Brothers Together”

Another title for this one, Outlet PTICD 1055, 1994