Cormac Begley: Cormac Begley – concertina player delivers earthy delight

Cormac Begley
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Artist: Cormac Begley
Genre: Traditional
Label: Independent Release

Some recordings have longevity written all over them. Cormac Begley is a concertina player whose solo debut delves deep and soars high, slowly revealing its beauty through nuance and gesture.

This is a deliciously earthy collection, with Begley's home place of west Kerry grounding him as he embarks on a picaresque adventure in the company of his four concertinas: piccolo, treble, baritone and bass. His own composition Polka John is a delight: fleet of foot, yet cleaving to the discipline of its chosen rhythm, and pairs seamlessly with his father Brendan's tune The Camino.

The reel set The Fermoy Lasses is a hoot, reeking of the untethered feral quality so beloved of the Begleys and west Kerry, and replete with a deep, sensual moan underscoring its provenance.

The record's limited-edition hexagonal case is a masterclass in form and function.

Siobhán Long

Siobhán Long

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