Bob Abrams:  button accordion, mandolin, octave mandolin
Roger Burridge: fidde
Brad Hurley: flute
Sarah Bauhan: flute
Andy Woolf: fiddle
Peter Barnes: piano
David Surette: guitar, octave mandolin
Mark Murray: guitar
Kent Allyn: piano, fretless bass
Paul Henle: percussion

A delightful new album featuring New England musicians playing Irish traditional music in most convincing manner. New Hampshire resident Bob Abrams, on C#/D box, mandolin, and octave mandolin, is joined by the excellent fiddle player Roger Burridge, Brad Hurley and Sarah Bauhan on flute, David Surette on guitar and octave mandolin, Peter Barnes on piano, and a few others. Except for a set of Norwegian-American waltzes, one of Finnish-American polkas, and a Scottish air (learned from Seamus and Manus McGuire though), the material is Irish and performed Irish-style. The music is well played at a leisurely pace, combining old chestnuts, "The Burnt Old Man" or "The Trip to Durrow" for instance, with rarely heard gems like Paddy O'Brien's jig "The Coming of Spring" (one of my favorites on the album). Abrams' accordion playing is not virtuosic but it is more than competent and it definitely has the right feel and energy--and I happen to be a sucker for that C#/D sound. Surette's octave mandolin and guitar accompaniments are tasteful and  support without intruding, which in my book is very good. Peter Barnes's piano work, with its trademark knack for finding unusual harmonies, is the one element here that reminds me most of New England contra music, not in any overpowering way though.

Rating: ***

Price: $15.99
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See also:
   Roger Burridge: All Hands Around
    Roger Burridge & Kevin Griffin: Across the Pond
1. Reels: The Eel in the Sink/The Boys of Malin
2. Set Dances: The Humors of Bandon/Hurry the Jug
3. Hornpipes: The Stack of Wheat/ The Galway Hornpipe
4. Waltzes: Knut Sorenson's
5. Jigs: The Cat in the Corner/The Coming of Spring/The Mooncoin
6. Reels: Jenny's Wedding/Come West Along the Road
7. Slip Jigs: The Dragon Fly/The Honey Bee
8. Hornpipes: A Fool's Advice/ John Doherty's
9. Slides: Danny Ab's/Scattery Island
10. Air: The Dean Brig of Edinburgh
11. Reels: The Trip to Durrow/The Cup of Tea
12. Jigs: The Burnt Old Man/ McGuire's
13. Polkas: Kautisten Polka/Sisu