Gerry O’Connor – Last Night’s Joy review: An absolute joy at any time

Thu, Nov 15, 2018, 05:00

   
 

Album:
Last Night's Joy

Artist:
Gerry O'Connor

Label:
Lughnasa Music

Genre:
Traditional

It’s been 14 long years since Gerry O’Connor’s last album – but how worth it that wait has been. This Dundalk fiddler, veteran of Lá Lugh, Skylark and a myriad other collaborations, is in his element, as his second solo album’s title attests.

Drawing deep from the well of his northeast home place, and with sleeve notes rich in quirky detail, the album has many and diverse highlights. O’Connor’s reading of The Hawk Jig, in the sublime company of Máirtín O’Connor, doffs its cap to the late Seán McGuire, and is beautifully paired with the Swedish Hardrevet Polska, the two tunes revelling in a distinctly Bach-analian delight.

Fittingly, Gerry “Banjo” O’Connor joins his namesake for the tune set, Stereo Connor. And then there’s the father-and-son duet of Gerry and Dónal on a slow air, Báidí na Scadain, inspired by the song of the same name sung by the late singer Eithne Ní Uallacháin – a deeply meditative piece rendered all the richer by Neil Martin’s cello.

With seemingly boundless musical depth and breadth, underscored by a sharp wit, this collection is a joy to behold, long beyond last night.