Link to Living Tradition Homepage





JOHN MCSHERRY - The Seven Suns

JOHN MCSHERRY - The Seven Suns
Compass Records COMPASS746732

This is a concept album from one of Ireland’s master uilleann pipers, who has chosen as his theme to draw on his country’s ancient history. This allows us insights into the belief systems, knowledge and habits of these earlier peoples, whilst also considering how central Ireland was in the exchange of beliefs and peoples of Europe. So, a lot there to make you think!

John’s superb playing on pipes and whistles is supported by Seán Óg Graham, guitars, bass, bouzouki, bodhrán, percussion and synth keys; Niamh Dunne, fiddle and viola; Michael McGoldrick, flute; and Sean Warren, cello. This assemblage of instrumentation gives a real warmth and depth of tone to the tunes, helping them to evoke emotional reactions to the stories that they tell, whether these feelings be of poignancy or elation.

The arrangements are outstanding, allowing every instrument its full place, and the playing throughout is crisper than the first footprint in the snow we’re all so keen to see around this time of year. John plays here with a lightness of touch and dexterity which makes this most complex of instruments sound easy. The whole is enhanced by the great production, and the notes which give the background to the stories behind each track are excellent synopses of early history and customs.

If you didn’t get this as a Christmas present, go out and buy it with whatever money you’ve got left – it’s worth a place in anybody’s collection!

Gordon Potter

Secure On-line mailorder service
Buy this CD online from The Listening Post
The Listening Post is the CD mailorder service of The Living Tradition magazine.
This album was reviewed in Issue 117 of The Living Tradition magazine.