Aidan Connolly: Be Off – fiddler leads a very inviting session

Be Off
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Artist: Aidan Connolly
Genre: Traditional
Label: Raelach Records

There's a rich, belly-deep tone underpinning fiddler Aidan Connolly's debutthat magnetically draws the listener into its ambit. Where fiddle and fiddler sunder is a mystery, as the music flows effortlessly from Connolly's gorgeous choice of an opening reel, Paddy Cronin's Own.

Sliabh Luachra's rich tune palette suffuses this collection, but other influences abound, including that of Paddy Canny from east Clare. In what is essentially a celebration of the sociability of a great session, Connolly mixes it up with his uncle and fellow fiddler Con Moynihan, along with Jack Talty and Pádraic Keane on piano and pipes, and a rake of other fine musicians.

Connolly's rakish reading of An Seanduine Dóite is a particular delight, as is his solo take on the reel set, Miss Johnson's. The richly textured and witty sleeve notes add immeasurably to this jaw-droppingly mature debut.

Siobhán Long

Siobhán Long

Siobhán Long, a contributor to The Irish Times, writes about traditional music and the wider arts