Link to Living Tradition Homepage





MICHO RUSSELL - Rarities & Old Favorites 1949-1993

MICHO RUSSELL - Rarities & Old Favorites 1949-1993
Pennywhistler's Press PWCD80007

Legendary may be a slightly over-used word, but Micho Russell (1915-1994) of Doolin in County Clare has certainly become just that. This is an amazing double CD collection of tunes on whistle, flute and piccolo, along with several songs, all delivered in the man's gentle and unselfconscious style. Starting with a 1949 Radio Éireann recording made by Seamus Ennis of Boil The Breakfast Early, there are 49 tracks here, only five of which have been previously released (and these are no longer available). The research uncovered many private recordings, and while recording quality is naturally less than perfect, the sheer quality of the playing shines through the noise of a passing car or crying baby.

This is no sterile studio recording, but gives us a rare insight to a master player in informal situations, even if as demonstrated here, Micho was equally at home in front of a large audience at a German or American festival.

The Pennywhistler's Press and producer Bill Ochs are to be congratulated on this iconic production, which is accompanied by an attractive booklet, including information about the sources of the recordings as well as an account of the man's place in his local community.

Doolin has become a major place of pilgrimage for Irish music enthusiasts from all over the globe, even if what is there today may be a far cry from Micho Russell's heyday. The 92 minutes on this excellent double CD may be a revelation to Doolin pilgrims who may not even be aware of the main reason for Doolin's musical fame. Let's hope so, this CD is essential listening for all with an interest in the real thing.

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 108 of The Living Tradition magazine.