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EDEL FOX & NEILL BYRNE - The Sunny Banks

EDEL FOX & NEILL BYRNE - The Sunny Banks
Blackthorn Records BR001

Edel Fox is a concertina player from Miltown Malbay, while Neill Byrne is a fiddle player from Waterford. Both come from musical families and started learning at an early age, taught and influenced by some of the legends of traditional Irish music. The Sunny Banks is a delightfully uplifting album of traditional and modern tunes, played with vigour and that wonderful Clare bouncy style.

Many of the tunes are derived from and played in tribute to the duo’s musical heroes, including Tommy Peoples, Finbarr Dwyer, Paddy O’Brien and John Dwyer. The repertoire also includes compositions of Edel herself. The lovely reel, Nana Jo’s, was written in memory of her grandmother and leads into a superb version of Jackson’s Reel which Edel learned from the playing of Frankie Gavin. Neill’s excellent solo on The Jug Of Punch is played beautifully and leads into Maude Millar’s Reel and Brendan McGlinchy’s wonderful Farewell To London.

The duo is ably supported by Caoimhín Ó Fearghail on guitar and bouzouki and Richie Lyons on bodhrán. Ó Fearghail’s subtle accompaniment to the sublime air Seothín Seothó is particularly noteworthy.

With its faultless, lively playing and range of beautiful tunes, The Sunny Banks is destined to become one of the classic albums of traditional Irish music.

Keith Whiddon

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This album was reviewed in Issue 98 of The Living Tradition magazine.