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DAVID DOOCEY - Changing Time

DAVID DOOCEY - Changing Time
Own Label DM001

An exemplary debut recording from this young American-born fiddler, Changing Time combines the best of traditional Irish music with the flair and fun of contemporary Irish tunes. There's almost an alternation between straight Irish trad and a bit of stateside swing, which reminds me strongly of Seán Smyth's solo debut The Blue Fiddle. Doocey, who now resides in Mayo, has been at the top of the fiddle tree for about a decade, playing with several touring bands and is now a member of Gráda. He kicks off with a wonderfully swung version of Martin Wynne's #2 and his own reel The Man From Dunblane, one of half a dozen own compositions here. David is not alone: he enlists help on guitars, bass, accordion, percussion, flute and keys. Mostly his accompanists are family, two more Dooceys and two Dohertys, plus the formidable Ryan Molloy taking a break from experimental music. Different combinations of instruments are used to great effect on several tracks.

I prefer the funkier side of this CD, the jaunty dotted take on The Broken Pledge, the pair of vivacious barndances, the grinding low groove of Captain Kelly. Some of these tunes are ones I have played in a solo set myself: The Man Of The House, Lucy Farr's, John Brennan's and Fisher's Hornpipe. Doocey has won many prizes for his fiddling and it's obvious that he is a master of that art, but he slots in an impressive solo on concertina to remind us that he also has an All-Ireland title on the wee double-handed squeezebox. I wasn't as impressed with the slow reels and jigs on this album, both David's own Up Bráid and Johnny Og Connolly's Inis Bearacháin - not because they aren't fine tunes, but perhaps because of the company they are keeping they didn't quite grab me. The Doocey slow air Dark Shadows, by contrast, is a chilling and starkly beautiful piece, well deserving an airing beyond the Magdalene Laundry documentary for which it was commissioned. Changing Time could well be in my 2013 Top Ten: you can get to grips with it yourself at

Alex Monaghan

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This album was reviewed in Issue 99 of The Living Tradition magazine.