David Power

DAVID POWER - My Love is in America
Claddagh Records CCF37CD

Precision piping it ain't, but it more than makes up for that in richness of tone and blitheness of spirit. David Power has taken his time before making a debut CD: gone is the teenage technical perfection, the slavish obedience to the tune, and the desire to play at speeds which render the regulators redundant. Instead, this recording showcases a measured and relaxed approach to the Irish piping tradition, teasing the meat off the bones of some great old tunes, to provide a veritable feast for the ears. A glorious romp through ‘Madame Bonaparte’, a gutsy swagger on ‘Saddle the Pony’, and the full gamut of emotions and effects on the classic ‘Fox Chase’: that's just first impressions.

There's real depth to the slow airs ‘Tomorrow is St Patrick's Day’, ‘Women of Loughrea’ and ‘The Bonny Bunch of Roses’, helped by the beautiful mellow tone of David's flat pipes playing two semitones below concert D. The hornpipes are also something special, an under-rated form which sparkles here as David does full justice to ‘ Bantry Bay ’ and ‘Standing Abbey’. And of course there are plenty of reels and jigs served up piping hot: ‘Boys of the Town’, ‘The Green Mountain’, ‘Cailleach an Airgid’, and a rousing finish with ‘George White's Favourite’.

A notable characteristic of this CD is that all accompaniment is provided by the drones and regulators of the uillean pipes: this is a true solo recording, but David Power is so adept at accompanying himself that the absence of other musicians is never felt. Few of today's pipers can make better use of the instrument's accompaniment potential than this young man. Add some fascinating sleevenotes and the usual high standard of Claddagh production, and My Love is in America makes a powerful impression on all fronts.

Alex Monaghan

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This album was reviewed in Issue 63 of The Living Tradition magazine.