Sometimes, there comes along unexpectedly a little bit of serendipity and you can only feel grateful for hearing a bit of real material that was previously hidden. Paul McGlinchey does himself and Tyrone great credit with this offering.
There’s a great sense of power and direction, a rock-steady rhythm, and it’s not hard to fathom how he comes to have a couple of all-Ireland titles to his name. Great tunes from the likes of Josie McDermott and Vincent Broderick, and from a later generation, Charlie Lennon. I was especially impressed with the reel ‘The Piper’s Broken Finger’. It’s a point about a good recording, and it happens here, that any time you might get even a shade distracted there’s a twist or a little bit of a polished gem, and you say: “Hey, did you hear that? That’s real motoring!”
He’s got a fine team together for this offering: Brid Harper and MacDara O’ Raghallaigh, fiddles, Seamus O’Kane on bodhrán, Stevie Dunne on guitar and banjo, and Ryan Molloy on piano. But he certainly proves the flute and fiddle duets have a special blend and character to them.
The tempo on the jigs is very nicely judged. My favourite was ‘Courtown Harbour’, composed by Jimmy McHugh, originally from Tyrone, but who lived most of the time in Glasgow, (there’s a solid and wonderful festival in his memory every January. This is a real instalment of undiluted pure drop, and all the sweeter for it. Most of us agree that the best way to learn tunes is live from another player. But we all do use CD’s - and I can’t think of a finer collection than this for learning or listening.