Liam O’Connor: Live at Ronnie Scott’s

Live at Ronnie Scott's
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Artist: Liam O'Connor
Genre: Traditional
Label: LOC Music

When it comes to trad, technical wizardry sometimes overshadows musicality when musicians become more hell-bent on breaking land speed records than getting beneath the skin of a tune. Accordionist Liam O'Connor has a Guinness World Record as "the fastest fingers in the world". O'Connor recorded this live album in London's Ronnie Scott's, and he's clearly keen to stretch his canvas wider by covering a mix of trad, folk, reggae and soft rock. Opening with Mark Knopfler's Local Hero, O'Connor delivers an uncharacteristically tentative reading with accompaniment that barely rises above bland musak. His cover of New Found Harmonium (a twist on the tune associated with the Penguin Café Orchestra) is straight-jacketed by yet more lumbering arrangements, with piano, drums and saxophone in particular washing the entire collection in a colourless hue. A family affair, featuring three of his children, O'Connor's music seems too preoccupied with other voices to find his own in the mêlée.