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Private Label ACDK001

Commins and Kearney are two academics who have been inspired to create new Irish tunes that are steeped in the tradition of their native Ireland, with further influences from their travels in South America, Italy, Norway and even Durham. Adèle Commins contributes approximately half of the tunes, and is the accordion and keyboard backbone of the duo. Daithí Kearney is an accomplished multi-instrumentalist, and shines on banjo and mandolin.

Daithí’s banjo medley Blue Boats/Lough Ennell is delightful, as are Adèle’s marches – Road To Dundalk/Ferdia’s Battle - and Daithí’s mandolin on the Italian-inspired reels Trip To Tivoli/Porchetta Reel is a tour de force. The Commins set Shoreside Strolls /Rocky Road To Kansas is a great example of the interplay between this pair of young musicians. Daithi Kearney seems to be the most travelled of the pair, having toured with, among others, Nuada and The National Folk Theatre of Ireland, but I’m sure that this partnership will lead to further tours, this time as a duo. The closing track comprises a set of polkas courtesy of Adèle Commins, Porto Alegre’s Dream 1/Holding Firm/Kansas Set 2, and is a lively but controlled way of winding up the album (and I feel a connection with my old stomping ground of Porto Alegre in Brazil – home of Grêmio Football Club, but I digress). It seems almost a negative point to emphasise that this collection of tunes is delivered as a formal collection, rather than a relaxed session of accomplished musicians giving it laldie, but that is the nature of their academic origins. Nonetheless, it is still a cracking collection of modern tunes sounding like they have some provenance. This is in no small part due to the care that this duo has taken in their construction.

Grem Devlin

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This album was reviewed in Issue 120 of The Living Tradition magazine.