Link to Living Tradition Homepage





VARIOUS ARTISTS - My True Love He Dwells On The Mountain: Traditional Music From The West Of Ireland 

VARIOUS ARTISTS - My True Love He Dwells On The Mountain: Traditional Music From The West Of Ireland 
Veteran VT163CD 

One of those ‘just what it says on the tin’ discs! Noting the careful omission of the words “and song” from the sub-title will betoken that this fine collection of previously unreleased field recordings can be regarded as an instrumental counterpart to Veteran’s previous release, the excellent Bring My Love To Connemara (2019) which presented a goodly selection of sean-nós singers recorded by Critics Group and London Singers’ Club member Terry Yarnell on his first field trip to Galway in the early 1970s, at the instigation of Ewan MacColl.

The 20 tracks here are of comparable vintage, made either in the musicians’ homes or at local bars; several were made in Counties Sligo and Clare when Terry spread his net beyond Galway on occasion. Together these recordings form a glorious kaleidoscope of all available instrumental colours, with predominantly solo performances of reels, jigs, hornpipes etc (and the occasional air) on uilleann pipes, fiddle, concertina, tin whistle, accordion and “tambourine” (aka bodhrán). The list of musicians recorded makes for a mouth-watering roll-call, containing celebrated Co. Clare musicians Willie Clancy and Chris Droney and Co. Galway teenager Frankie Gavin (pre De Danann) as well as (to me) lesser-known names such as Gabe O’Sullivan and Jim & Seamus Donoghue. I particularly enjoyed Spiddal tin whistle player Festy Conlon’s rendition of Dónal Óg, Clare fiddler Vincent Griffin’s feisty take on Paddy Fahey’s 1 & 2, piper Dan O’Dowd’s assured account of the air Táimse im’Chodladh, and the spirited pair of reels played by Rita & Sarah Keane with members of their family Céilidhe Band. But this well-sequenced disc contains not a single performance you’d want to miss (just like stumbling on a great pub session!), and it represents something of an evocative time-capsule, captured in remarkably good sound given the circumstances.

David Kidman


This review appeared in Issue 143 of The Living Tradition magazine