Micho Russell: Rarities & Old Favourites 1949-1993 | Album Review

Rarities & Old Favourites 1949-1993
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Artist: Micho Russell
Genre: Traditional
Label: Claddagh Records

For sheer visceral energy and vitality, few musicians scale the heights of the late Doolin whistle player, lilter and singer, Micho Russell.

This two-CD collection, released to mark the centenary of his birth, lives up to its name, with just five of the 49 tracks released previously.

The pristine clarity of his whistle playing is a reminder of the free-spirited talent that led to him turning professional in his 50s, after years farming.

His story-telling and lilting too are suffused with a zest for life and a love of his home place that is timeless.


This is a corralling of a diverse body of work, recorded both near and far from home, and lovingly produced by Bill Ochs, with a book promised shortly.

Russell’s music was and is beautifully bare-boned, cleaving to its roots and yet indisputably flighty: free as a bird. A delight.

Siobhán Long

Siobhán Long

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