Link to Living Tradition Homepage






Private Label KELLY&DUFFY001

If you're the kind of listener who is interested in the rich tradition of regional music styles in Ireland, and maybe lament the increasing trend towards hybridisation, then this excellent collection of Sligo style music could be for you. The informative booklet of notes contains very little information about Liam Kelly and Philip Duffy, which in these commercial days I see as refreshing rather than being any kind of omission! They have been on the music scene in Sligo (and further afield, of course) for some years, but this CD is a conscious effort to state the case for Sligo music, and you could hardly be in better hands.

Sometimes such an attempt can come over as stilted and pretentious, but the sheer skill and sympathy these two have for their own music means that there was no danger of that here. A good tune is a good tune, and there has been no attempt at making this an exclusively Sligo CD. The material is drawn from many sources, but there is a definite prejudice towards the great Sligo players, such as James Morrison and Paddy Killoran, and more recently Josie McDermott - rightly so, the region is justly proud of these master players. Having said that, such ‘foreign’ (!) tunes as The Mills Are Grinding from East Galway's Ballinakill Band, and the lovely set of barn dances credited to Jimmy Duffy from Fermanagh, are given rhythmic and sensitive handling. Only six of the 14 tracks are reels, so there is plenty of variety and, importantly, all the tunes are played at an easy pace, where the subtleties of the regional style can be fully appreciated. I was also impressed by the sensitivity of John Joe Kelly's bodhrán playing on a few of the tracks (no jokes please!) - he really added something to the overall effect - listen to The Durrow Reel for a lesson in how the much derided instrument SHOULD be handled!

There is plenty of information in the booklet about the tunes and their origins, and this long awaited CD by these skilful musicians can do nothing but good for the music of County Sligo and North Connaught in general.

Jim Bainbridge

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 111 of The Living Tradition magazine.