TOM McCONVILLE - Tommy On The Bridge

TOM McCONVILLE - Tommy On The Bridge
Tomcat Music TCCD06

Tom McConville is the very essence of the Geordie Irish tradition, a hugely talented fiddler with a fine, light singing voice, and an all-round good guy as well.  This latest release sees him teaming up with Aaron Jones, vocals, guitar and bouzouki; Claire Mann, fiddle and whistles; Ciaran Boyle, bodhran; Kevin McGuire, double bass; Peter Tickell, fiddle; and Dave Wood, guitar.  With friends like these, you just know it’s going to be good, and it certainly lives up to expectations.

Tom’s tastes have always been wide and varied, and the choice of material here reflect these nicely, with tunes from a number of sources, each given Tom’s own empathetic treatment, which respects its background, yet turns it into something definitely his own.  Similarly with the songs, which range from the traditional Mary and The Soldier, through a Billy Mitchell tribute to his father and Allan Taylor’s poignant Fiddler John, to the Richard Thompson benchmark Beeswing.  All of these are easily mastered by Tom, whose pacing is always well suited to the lyrics, allowing the listener to digest the message.

If the instrumentation on the songs is suitably understated, the instrumental tracks allow Tom full scope to demonstrate his mastery of various styles, from Northumbrian to American, from Irish to Cajun and Scottish.  The emphasis throughout is on quality music, taken at just the right pace, well-balanced yet passionate.

An absolute belter.

Gordon Potter

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This album was reviewed in Issue 72 of The Living Tradition magazine.