Andy Lamy: The New Blackthorn Stick | Album review
The New Blackthorn Stick
To those who like to muse that traditional music is caught in an ever-decreasing spiral of self-regard, this collection from classically-trained New York clarinettist Andy Lamy will halt that hoary old argument in its tracks.
The crisp, sweet clarity of the clarinet is remarkably well suited to his carefully-chosen repertoire. At the core of The Blackthorn Stick is an openness to the river-run of the tune, so that melody lines reign supreme.
While he keeps company with a formidable mix of musicians here (Mary Bergin, Dermot Byrne, Floriane Blancke and Brian Conway for starters), Lamy delights in revealing the fine print embedded in his selection of slow airs.
Ensemble Ériú have recently placed the clarinet at the heart of their more avant-garde sound, but Lamy’s the first clarinettist to insinuate himself into the heart of the tradition.