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TOMMY PEOPLES "Waiting For A Call" Shanachie SHAN78052

Tommy Peoples stature in the field of Irish traditional music is such that a new release from him is always an anticipated event. Waiting For A Call is a new Tommy Peoples CD from Shanachie. It is in reality two CD's, well perhaps one and a half, in one. Eleven of the sixteen tracks being recorded in the mid eighties and the remaining five in 2002.The reason given in the notes for the non release until now of the 1980's recordings is that they 'didn't amount to a full length album', so in 2002 five new tracks were recorded and combined with the eleven originals and "Waiting For A Call" was released. I've often thought that Shanachie have a tendency to the quirky with their policy of what gets released when and in what order. On the CD under review the five new tracks are mingled with the older ones, useful I guess if you want or need to compare Tommy's playing now with that of twenty years ago.

The music is, as you would expect of the highest possible standard, played with all of Tommy's eloquence and drive. On the 1980s recordings Tommy is accompanied by Alec Finn on bouzouki, Sean Potts on uilleann pipes, and Donal Lunny on bodhran lends a hand on some tracks. The accompaniment on the new items is provided by John Doyle on guitar, but as Tommy shows on a couple of tracks when you can play this well accompaniment is not always necessary. The tunes are a mixture of traditional and recently composed, many by Tommy, all sitting comfortably together.

On reflection I think the mingling of the older and newer recordings, which at first seemed strange, adds variety and interest to what is after all a CD of wonderful traditional fiddle playing by one of the masters. A very worthwhile release and very enjoyable listening, highly recommended of course.

Danny Saunders

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This album was reviewed in Issue 53 of The Living Tradition magazine.