An Evening in Sliabh Luachra – Volume 1
Recorded in aid of the Sliabh Luachra Cultural Centre in Scartaglen, this little box of delights features 24-tracks’ worth of music from the area surrounding the ‘Rushy Mountain’.
Kicked off by Johnny O’Leary (naturally) via the effervescent Scartaglen Polkas, the CD includes numerous other musicians from the region or a little further afield (the latter including the Sliabh Notes pairing of fiddler Matt Cranitch from Cork and accordionist Dónal Murphy from Abbeyfeale).
All the highlights are too numerous to mention, but it’s certainly worth cocking an ear to the pairing of accordionist John Brosnan and uilleann piper Pádraig Buckley, an instrumental coupling rarely heard either live or on record, as they frolic through Swinging on the Gates/The Corner House. Meanwhile Patrick McCarthy provides a splendid solo-fluted set of slides associated with Denis Murphy.
The Mulcahy family pop up on Another Frolly/When the Cock Crows Its Day some years in advance of their own album while the best of the songs is probably Patrice O’Connor’s spirited rendition of We’ll Go Home by Barna. The CD rises to a finale with a set of tracks recorded live at Fleming’s Bar in Scartaglen, before culminating in Denis Paud Brosnan’s rousing singing of The Scartaglen National Anthem and a solo spot on the bodhrán for yet another Brosnan – Paddy.
All told, it’s a grand introduction to the “modern” sound of Sliabh Luachra and, as such, an excellent companion to the Globestyle collection The Rushy Mountain.
This is an original review for TIMR by Geoff Wallis (who is pretty sure that there never was a “Volume 2” but would love to be told otherwise).
Update, April 2008: according to the website of the Sliabh Luachra Cultural & Heritage Centre – www.iol.ie/~srdg/ – copies of the album are still available for sale.