Christy Barry, Conor McCarthy, Cyril O’Donoghue

Late... in the Night

Clare Airs Records CARCD001; 51 minutes; 2002

A certain Dublin shop (which had better remain nameless in case any one of the three C’s visits the city) is currently selling this excellent live album for the bargain price of €4.99 and had plenty of copies left when I visited in February this year. Such an almost nugatory sum represents superb value but hardly reflects this album’s quality. 


Recorded live in O’Connor’s Bar, Doolin the album’s twelve tracks pair Christy’s mellifluous flute with Conor’s effervescent box-playing on a selection of mainly jigs and reels, backed by Cyril’s bouzouki and guitar. The only exceptions to the reel-jig format are Christy’s low whistle rendition of the air The Dear Little Isle, Conor’s solo version of another, Anach Cuain, and one song from Cyril, England’s Motorway, which he delivers in the fetching, but somewhat nasal style with which visitors to Clare will be well familiar.


The music itself is mainly of the typically Clare infectious variety as flute and accordion combine to telling effect despite a 17-year hiatus in terms of Conor and Christy playing together.


Strangely, for a live album, there’s little evidence of the audience’s presence (not even a cry of “three stouts, please” or the odd appreciative whoop, but I suppose that’s Doolin for you). The album also includes probably the most uninspiring title of any Irish reel, Coffee in Griffins of Ennistymon.


Geoff Wallis


11th March, 2005


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