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TOMMY GUIHEN - The Torn Jacket

TOMMY GUIHEN - The Torn Jacket
Clo Iar-Chonnacht CICD204

Tommy Guihen is completely new to me. He is a double All-Ireland champion on the flute, and from listening to this CD, a well-deserved one. On first hearing, I thought of the great Packie Duignan. It was therefore no surprise when I read in the sleeve notes that Tommy cites Packie as one of his early influences. His playing is very much in the style of many of the great Sligo/Leitrim/Roscommon flute players.

This is lovely, steady, rhythmic playing. No fancy stuff – just allowing the tunes to speak for themselves. The accompaniment on piano from Mary Corcoran is delicious.

There are some great tracks on here but the one I pick out as truly class is a set of three Josie McDermott reels played unaccompanied - Darby’s Farewell / Father O’Grady’s Trip To Bocca / Baltimore Salute - great phrasing, swinging driving tunes. I also enjoyed his rendition of Eleanor Plunkett with sensitive guitar accompaniment from Paul Gurney. Sleeve notes to the tunes are comprehensive and very informative; something that others could learn from.

If I have any criticism, it is that I would have liked to have seen a wider variety of tunes. Apart from two airs and one hornpipe, the album comprises reels and jigs. But otherwise this is a thoroughly enjoyable way to while away a musical hour.

Brendan Carson

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This album was reviewed in Issue 122 of The Living Tradition magazine.