Randal Bays and Family new CD, “A Rake of Tunes”
This CD came out recently with little fanfare, but I believe it will be a classic. I’m always on the lookout for great traditional recordings but most of the time, for me at least, that means reissues from the 30s and 40s. This album by Randal Bays and his family is simply produced, almost totally unaccompanied except for piano backing on one live track, and it has the feeling of some of the old LPs and reissues that I love so much. The playing, as one would expect, is stunning. And that includes Randal’s wife and children, who play fiddle, concertina and flute on many of the tracks. The tune selections are super, including several tunes composed by Randal and several by his son Owen, who I believe is very young. A special favourite of mine is “The Man From Kilconnell”, which Randal composed in homage to the great East Galway fiddler and composer Paddy Fahey. The CD packaging is basic - black print on white cardboard - and to read the sleeve notes you have to go to his website, www.randalbays.com . I had never heard of Randal Bays until a few years ago when I had the good fortune to hear him in a small concert setting. This new CD with his family is a delight from start to finish and I highly recommend it.