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DANNY O'MAHONY - In Retrospect

DANNY O'MAHONY - In Retrospect
Private Label  DOMCD001

Despite its title, this is not a backward-looking album. Danny O'Mahony certainly respects the tradition, but this young Kerry box-player plays in a sparkling contemporary style and has a bright future in view. He's accompanied here by some of the best in the business - Johnny Ringo on drums and bones, Cyril O'Donoghue on bouzouki, and Patsy Broderick on piano. Danny also has great swing and excellent tempo, which may have helped in his revival of the Shannon Vale Ceili Band. It's solo accordion all the way here, though: fourteen tracks of reels, jigs and hornpipes, plus one slow air, in a little under an hour.

Danny knows his music, and has chosen tunes by Paddy O'Brien and Sean Ryan from Tipperary, Vincent Broderick from Galway, Liz Carroll from Chicago and Scott Skinner from Speyside among others. A surprising amount of Danny's material is attributed to its rightful owner in the authoritative notes, but there are also many unclaimed treasures: Maids Of Mount Cisco, Jenny Picking Cockles, Lady Gordon, all charming girls, and a delightful version of The Heathery Breeze. The air Shanagolden is smoothly played, almost in a piping style, without any jarring tones. The jigs are sweet enough too: Currants For Cakes And Raisins For Everything is a composition of the formidable box-player Anne Conroy-Burke, and Danny follows it with the firmly traditional Barrel Rafferty's topped off by The Drumraney Lass. With jaunty hornpipes and a barndance to boot, there's plenty to enjoy on this debut release from a player who may well be numbered among the greats - In Retrospect. has samples and more information.

Alex Monaghan

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This album was reviewed in Issue 90 of The Living Tradition magazine.