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Cló Iar-Chonnacht CICD205  

Warm and cheerful music from the heart of the Irish tradition, button accordionist Tommy Mellet and wooden fluter Neansaí Ní Choisdealbha present a wide range of music, not restricted to their native West Galway. The performances here are quite informal, nothing showy, with an inclusive atmosphere that sees Tommy's talented children playing along on flute and concertina for a few tracks. The result is an hour of relaxed, enjoyable music, played as much for the musicians as for the listeners, with no need to fix every fumble or post-produce the parlour sound.

Starting with the familiar reels Boil The Breakfast Early and The Berehaven, Neansaí and Tommy deliver jigs, marches, hornpipes, waltzes and more. The Yellow Wattle, The Whistler Of Roslea, Helvic Head, Up Sligo and The Traveller are familiar session tunes around the country: less well known but equally memorable are the slip jig Dever The Dancer, the James Hill hornpipe The Good Natured Man, the Sligo jig The Shoemaker's Last recorded by James Murray, and several others. Tunes by Ed Reavy and Joe Liddy sit alongside melodies too old to be attributed. Tommy duets with his son on a set of jigs from Kerry fiddler Paddy Cronin, while Neansaí plays the soothing air, Peaceful Claddaghduff, and follows up with a pair of her own waltzes. John Blake provides steady accompaniment, and Paddy Ó Fiannachta tips the bodhrán on three sets. An Tower is Tommy's first recording, and he takes the lead on most tracks, sharing his extensive fund of tunes. Here's hoping there will be more albums from this pair.

Alex Monaghan

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This album was reviewed in Issue 126 of The Living Tradition magazine.