The Irish Isle

By James Keane and Friends

Two comments

Re: The Irish Isle

1996, Menus and Music Productions

James Keane, accordion
Seamus Egan, flute
Winifred Horan, fiddle
Sue Richards, harp

With a tacky series concept (the booklet consists of recipes for leek and potato soup and soda bread) and a disc devoted mainly to slow tunes - several of which are harp solos - one could imagine this being played in heavy rotation at the Irish import shops at the time. Fortunately, the players manage to elevate the (overplayed) material. The last two tracks in particular are taken at fast tempos, with #13 being a flute and accordion duet, and #14 a trio with fiddle (no harp on either). These are actually pretty great, and it’s a shame the whole album couldn’t have been more like this. The jigs and a couple of the set dances (played at the slower dance tempos) are not bad as well.
The playing is solid and, as I was always disappointed that Seamus didn’t record more in simpler settings, it’s nice to get a little bit here.