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Raelach Records RR010

Something of a mover and shaker in the music scene around Cork and beyond in recent years, Jack Talty is a multi-instrumentalist who has recorded on several albums, including a lovely concertina duet CD with Cormac Begley who incidentally also has a new solo recording out. Jack focuses on concertina here - several different Anglo instruments from Wheatstone to Wally Carroll - and he adds a touch of piano on the final track. He's accompanied by John Blake and Ruairí McGorman on guitar and bouzouki respectively, but In Flow is basically a concertina solo performance. Of over two dozen melodies, all but five are traditional Irish (I think we can count the likes of Paddy O'Brien's Bubbling Wine as a traditional reel now): those five are Talty tunes, from his charming slip-jig The Wily Willow to the easy flow of the reels Trip To Girona and The Night Of The Feast.

One of the nicest things about this CD is the obscurity of much of the material here. Talty has sifted through Irish recordings and archives to bring us something new in many cases: unusual versions of The Heathery Breeze and Rakish Paddy, the jig Donncha Ó Loinsigh's learnt from a musical family in Cork and Kerry, the 9/8 song air Racha Do Dheaide Go Sydeney collected by Seamus Ennis, and several others carefully described in the notes provided with In Flow. Jack is a master of the slower tunes too: his interpretation of the air, Bóthar Cluain Meala, is deeply moving, and his own composition, Stephen's Waltz, is another highlight. This is not a brash young buck's recording: it is thoughtful and unhurried, but no less impressive for that. If you enjoy firmly traditional Irish music at a slightly more relaxed pace, with a surer touch than the usual frantic session fare, give In Flow a listen.

Alex Monaghan

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This album was reviewed in Issue 119 of The Living Tradition magazine.