Alan Reid & Rachel Conlan - A Quare Yield review: slow and steady

ALAN REID & RACHEL CONLAN A Quare Yield ***Independent release

A Quare Yield
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Artist: Alan Reid and Rachel Conlan
Genre: Traditional
Label: Independent Release

Here is a collection that yields its pleasures with a certain reluctance until it marries its crafted sleeve notes with its eclectic tune choices. Leitrim banjo (and occasional oud) player Alan Reid and fiddle player (Irish and hardanger) Rachel Conlan plant their musical feet firmly on the ground, favouring a steady pacing over any hint of a gallop.

Their inventive marriage of tunes (such as Tommy Potts' hop jig with Elizabeth Cronin's Cucanandy and the deliciously "crooked setting" of Tommy Reck's Top It Off) casts many of them in a new light, though at times their loyalty to the metronome dilutes the inherent dynamism of a tune.

Reid and Conlan's attention to detail suggests a duo who savour the subtleties of a well-made tune over the adrenalin rush of a breakneck-paced set.

Siobhán Long

Siobhán Long

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