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DAN WALSH - Incidents & Accidents

DAN WALSH - Incidents & Accidents
Rooksmere Records RRCD115

I remember thinking, on seeing Dan Walsh for the first time, that here was someone who was destined to go far but that really it wasn’t for me because of the banjo. A year later and he was making strides on that journey, but it still wasn’t music I really appreciated. Then I reviewed what I thought might be my idea of hell - a collaboration with a harmonica player, Will Pound. But I was wrong and what a good album that was.

Now here’s another solo album - Incidents & Accidents. There are a few guests, but the emphasis is quite definitely on the banjo and Dan’s very confident singing. There are seven songs and four instrumentals, but all the way through the picking is well to the fore and the music is mostly stripped back to show his obvious ability on the banjo.

Of the songs, the opener, Time To Stay, tells of the emotions many of us have to face when leaving an area we have grown fond of, especially if it was one’s university town. The Song Always Stays is a much more mellow piece of songwriting and is probably my favourite, telling of the way his music has rekindled Scottish singer Glen Mason’s love of singing.

Without doubt, the most exciting and original example of Dan’s playing can be found on Whiplash Reel. Here he has taken his interest in Indian classical music and turned it into a piece for banjo, and it is quite amazing. The Tune Set comprises four self penned tunes starting with a slow air and finishing with a 100mph reel.

If you are a banjo fan, then this CD is a must for your collection. If you’re not, then this could quite easily become a banjo album for people who don’t get on so well with the instrument - it is growing on me!

Dave Beeby

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This album was reviewed in Issue 107 of The Living Tradition magazine.