Leonard Barry, Declan Folan and Shane McGowan: Hurry the Jug review – Graceful collision of past and present

Fri, Sep 27, 2019, 04:45


Hurry the Jug

Leonard Barry, Declan Folan and Shane McGowan

Independent Release


Past and present coalesce gracefully on this fine collection of tunes from Kerry piper Leonard Barry, Sligo fiddler Declan Folan and guitarist Shane McGowan. The pipes/fiddle combination is a linchpin of the tradition, and here they shimmy and slide with the nonchalance of old acquaintances with a deep understanding of one another’s character traits.

Barry’s style is beautifully calibrated to the genteel contours of the pair of hornpipes, The Green Island and Rick’s Rambles, a cap doffing to the late Liam O’Flynn, with whom both tunes have associated. His whistle is equally subtle as it traces a fine path alongside Shane McGowan’s guitar on Declan Folan’s newly composed pristine reel The Carousel.

Folan’s fiddle steps into the limelight for a gorgeous pair of barndances, Kitty Shand’s and Bill O’Malley’s, with McGowan’s guitar delicately tiptoeing in and around Folan’s fiddle, underscoring, punctuating, anchoring, but fettering neither the tune or the fiddle along the way.

There’s a palpable sense of delight and ease permeating this collection. A trio of musicians who’ve parked their egos outside the door and let the music tell its own tales.