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CHRIS DRONEY Down From Bell Harbour

Down From Bell Harbour
Cló Iar-Chonnachta CICD 161

As soon as you start to listen to this record, one thing leaps out and socks you squarely between the eyes: Chris Droney is a DANCE musician. The lift, the nicely considered pace of the tunes, the lack of ornamentation for ornamentation's sake as well as the rock-solid rhythm, couple with the most delicate lift and poise shout it to the rooftops. He is not just a dance musician, but a MASTER dance musician.

Chris Droney plays anglo-concertina in such a way that the tune, whilst important, is never allowed to get in the way of producing a wonderful danceable result. He romps through a selection of jigs, reels and hornpipes with rare aplomb, leavening it with a couple of waltzes, a hornpipe or two and a beautiful slow air of his own composition. He is accompanied by Jacinta MacEvoy who, rather than aiming to be part of a duo - interacting with the lead instrument, is content to sit at the feet of the master and ensure that her accompaniments serve only to set off the playing of the soloist. Apart from preferring the slow air to be solo, this is excellent support playing. Chris Droney plays as a man in his prime - the fact that he has been playing for over seventy years seems hardly credible, as does the fact that this is only his fourth album. Let's hope that we see and hear much more of him.

Paul Burgess

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This album was reviewed in Issue 68 of The Living Tradition magazine.