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VARIOUS ARTISTS - Within A Mile Of Kilty 2 

VARIOUS ARTISTS - Within A Mile Of Kilty 2 
Cló Iar-Chonnacht CICD209 

There are still things that can cause a frisson when taking a CD out from its mailing packet, and one, for me, is to discover that it’s from Cló Iar-Chonnacht. Without fail, this company turns out brilliant examples of some of Ireland’s finest playing and it is keeping its flag flying high with this compilation.

The sub-title is Traditional Irish Music From North Leitrim, so there’s the essence of what we get. The “Kilty” of the title is the border village of Kiltyclogher, which, despite only having some 150 of a population, has produced a fair number of particularly fine musicians over the years. This CD puts together a selection of these, recorded both in studios and at home, over the last 60 years or so. The Lennon family features on this volume, with Ben, fiddle; Brian, flute; Charlie, fiddle and piano; and Maurice, fiddle all present. Also included are John Gordon, fiddle; Seamus Quinn, fiddle and piano; and Brian Rooney, fiddle, with some other guest appearances.

There is, with such a range of musicians, a great variety in style of playing, not just that of North Leitrim, so we get a musical tour of the country along with note-perfect playing, including a polka set of The Primrose / The Bluebell, which are well-known to Jimmy Shand enthusiasts, but played here in a more stripped-back way.

A word needs to be added about the quality of the bilingual booklet notes as well, as they provide biographies of the players and details of the tunes and their sources which are at the same time comprehensive yet concise.

Highly recommended.

Gordon Potter


This review appeared in Issue 144 of The Living Tradition magazine