Johnny Óg wins best trad album


Horses don’t come much darker than this: Galway box player, Johnny Óg Connolly’s debut solo album, Aisling Yoshua/Joshua’s Dream has bagged gold in the 2011 Ticket Awards for Best Trad Album, which was delayed due to a glitch in The Ticket matrix.

Connolly’s low profile belies a cut-glass accordion style, a talent for finding the best accompanists (including Garry Ó Briain on mandocello and guitar) and a fine ear for newly composed tunes, of which he has five on this album.

Coming in a close second is flute player, Tom McElvogue’s and guitarist, Paddy Kerr’s superb The Long Hard Road.

Both albums are a refreshing reminder that trad fans seem to favour subtlety over sledgehammer production values.

A timely cue to nascent musicians too: small scale productions can ably match bigger budget releases.

Siobhán Long

The Ticket Awards verdict: