Brian Conway: fiddle
Joanie Madden: flute
Billy McComiskey: accordion
John Nolan: accordion
Heather Bixler: violin, piano
Dan Milner: vocals
Niamh Parsons: vocals
Felix Dolan: piano
Brendan Dolan: piano, keyboards
Eamon O'Leary: guitar
Gabe Donohue: guitar
Brad Alberta: double bass

New York Sligo-style fiddle player Brian Conway has been quite active in the studio lately. After the recent release of "A Tribute to Andy McGann," an album celebrating one of Conway's mentors and recorded with famous Galway accordion player Joe Burke, Conway has just a released his second solo CD, with the help of a few friends--which is how the album was conceptualized from the start. Conway has been playing alongside musicians like Joanie Madden, Billy McComiskey, John Nolan, and both Dolans, father and son, for many years, and their musical rapport is quite evident on the group tracks, all terrific. Conway, who mentions a fondness for accompanying singers, has two of them participating here, with varying success. I confess feeling rather underwhelmed by the fiddle's contribution to Dan Milner's otherwise solid "Matt Hyland." On the other hand, the "Highland Mary" track is one of the high points of the album, thanks to Niamh Parsons' singing of course, but also to an original way of integrating the fiddle into the arrangement. In that regard, Conway's rendition of the air "The Wounded Hussar," with Heather Bixler playing second violin and piano, is also one of the great tracks here with an original approach to air playing. But Conway's fiddle playing sounds at its most eloquent perhaps on those great reels and jigs one associates more particularly with the Sligo tradition

Rating: ****

Price: $27.99
Our Catalogue 
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1. Reels: Trim the Velvet / Lord Gordon's 
2. Jigs: Keys to the Convent / The Knockawhinna / Teviot Bridge  
3. Hornpipes: Tailor's Twist / Galway Bay / O'Kelly's Fancy 
4. Song: Matt Hyland 
5. Reels: John McGrath's / Dave Collins' / Larry Redican's  
6. Waltz Set: Velveta Waltz / Oslo Waltz 
7. Reels: Jackson's No. 1 / Jackson's No. 2 / The White Leaf 
8. Slow Air: The Wounded Hussar  
9. Reels: The Peeler's Jacket / Lucy Campbell / The Humours of Westport 
10. Jigs: Killimor / Pat McKenna's / Father Hanley's 
11. O' Carolan Tune: Madam Maxwell 
12. Jigs: O'Mahony's Frolics / Condon's Frolics / Swans Among the Rushes 
13. Song: Highland Mary 
14. Hornpipes: The Eclipse / The Sunshine  
15. Reels: Bonnie Kate / Jenny's Chickens / The Mason's Apron / Peter Street
See also:
First Through the Gate
& Joe Burke: A Tribute to Andy McGann