Tom Mcelvogue and Paddy Kerr

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The Long Hard Road(no label) ****

Rarely was a CD title more apt, as Tyneside flute player Tom McElvogue finally coaxes his debut collection into broad daylight, seven long years

after he recorded it. As a tune composer, McElvogue has already made his mark with Lúnasa’s Kevin Crawford, Capercaille’s Michael McGoldrick and Karen Tweed, who have fostered and promoted his work widely.

The Long Hard Roadbears ample testament to the disappearing virtue of patience. McElvogue’s conservatism in the tune-naming department ( Jig in G 01 as a title will hardly linger long in the memory) belies a fluid facility with both uncluttered composition and a fluent, unforced playing style. Accompaniment from bouzouki and bodhrán player, guitarist and composer Paddy Kerr is equally unerring: restrained in a way that bears comparison with Dennis Cahill’s intuitive ease alongside Martin Hayes. Essential listening for anyone with an ear cocked for finesse. See tommcelvogue.com

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