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Liosbeg Records PRTBCD001  

Two of the finest young stars of Irish music, this pair have taken different paths but arrived at the same appreciation of traditional music. Fiddle ace Tara Breen has been touring with The Chieftains for several years, showing off her many talents on big stages around the world. Concertina wizard Pádraig Rynne has carved his own path with contemporary groups such as Guidewires and his own experimental band Notify. Converging again on the music of County Clare, Breen and Rynne have found a common bond, a link, a connection - the meaning of this album title - not just to their heritage but to each other, a shared understanding of their tradition.

About a third of the tunes here are well known in the broad Clare tradition, even though they may have travelled: John Doherty's, Caha Mountains, Late Nights At The Central, Dan Breen's, Tommy Whelan's and The Scolding Wife may all be familiar. Tara and Pádraig are strongly accompanied by Jim Murray, Dónal Lunny and harpist Elaine Hogan. The accompaniment is up front and integral to the sound on several tracks, making this more like a session or a céilí at times, providing contrast to the subtler pieces and injecting plenty of energy for dancing. Jim Murray also composed the gentle 9/8 A Slip Of A Thing which adds to a handful of Rynne originals and several other recent compositions from as far afield as Brittany, Asturias and Cape Breton. New or old, 90% of Nasc has the saffron and blue of Clare imprinted on it, from the opening McGovern's Reel or the final Scartaglen Slide, and you'd have to go a long way to find two better exponents of this music.

Alex Monaghan


This review appeared in Issue 140 of The Living Tradition magazine