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Album Review

This album is something of a summit meeting between two major powers in Irish music — fiddler Tommy Peoples and flutist Matt Molloy, both veterans of the legendary Bothy Band and world-class instrumentalists. Guitarist Paul Brady plays a supporting role, though he steps out front to sing, beautifully, on the bitter "Shamrock Shore." Throughout most of the album, Molloy and Peoples take turns leading the trio through sets of traditional jigs and reels. Interestingly, the program includes a few session standards ("Speed the Plough," "Toss the Feathers," "The Connachtman's Rambles") but consists primarily of more obscure tunes. Molloy solos on a set of reels consisting of "The Crosses of Annagh" and "McFadden's Handsome Daughter" and delivers them with his trademark offhanded eloquence; Peoples shows off his sharp, astringent attack to perfect effect on "The Newport Lass" and "The Rambling Pitchfork." (Yes, "The Rambling Pitchfork." Don't ask where these tune names come from.) Inconsistent production quality is a minor annoyance throughout — some tracks sound distant, cramped and monophonic, others sound close and dry. But it's only as minor annoyance.

Biography

Genre: World

Years Active: '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s

A master of the Sligo tradition of flute and tin whistle playing, Matt Malloy has played a vital role in the evolution of Irish music. A charter member of the Bothy Band, Malloy has continued to bring a modern sensibility to Ireland's traditional music. In addition to recording four memorable solo albums, Malloy has applied the warm, airy tones of his flutes to the music of Paul Brady, Tommy Peoples, Michael O'Suillabhain,...
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Molloy, Brady, Peoples, Matt Molloy
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