Jim McGrath: accordion, melodeon
Gerry O'Donnell: flute
Cathal Hayden, Charlie Woods, Pat McManus: fiddles
Seamus Quinn: fiddle, piano
Robert Watt: Scottish pipes
Pat McManus, Ian Smith: guitars
Seamus O'Kane, Sean McGrath: bodhran
Ian Marshall: snare drum
James Blennerhassett: double bass

Jim McGrath is an excellent box player from Co. Fermanagh as well as a composer of great talent, judging from this album on which all the tunes recorded are McGrath originals. Because I usually listen to traditional music, I must confess that, when I have listened to a collection like this one in the past, I have felt somewhat disconnected from it, as if missing a point of reference, i.e., previously heard tunes. Not with this recording however, McGrath has a knack for writing tunes which are original and yet sound like they have been in the tradition for hundreds of years. McGrath was influenced by 78rpm recordings of early box players like Frank Quinn, and one can hear that unmistakable flavor of the music from the 1920s in his compositions. There is a lot of variety here, as McGrath seemingly tries to write pieces in all genres known to Irish musicians--there is even a foxtrot, dedicated to Fermanagh fiddle player Mick Hoy, and a piece in the style of a Breton march. Whatever the genre, McGrath's tunes have great appeal and spirit. This is "feel-good" music. And it doesn't hurt, of course, that McGrath is in great company to perform it. (10/2004).

Rating: ****

Price: $24.99
Our Catalogue 
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1. Reels: Bouncing Bellows / The Boys of Bellanaleck
2. Strathspey: Monea Castle
3. Jigs: Jitter the Bow / Melodious Accord
4. Hornpipes: Tween the Ditches / Raphoe Rhapsody
5. Foxtrot: The Fiddler Mick Hoy
6. Slow Jigs: Autumn's Golden Shades / The Prince of Distillers
7. Flings
8. Slides: Slithering, Sliding, and Generally Colliding
9. Air: The Silent Fiddle
10. Reels: The Knocks Session / The Lettered Cave / The Rhythm Reel
11. Waltzes: The Two Lovers Waltz / Deery from Derry
12. Piece & Reel: Le Sel de Bretagne /The Peake Dancers
13. Jigs: The Plain of the Deer / Correl Glen
14. Barndances: The Drop Dial / House to Finish
15. Waltzes: Sunset on the Erne / Memories of Bielefeld