Brian McNamara: uilleann pipes
Tim Collins: concertina
Alec Finn: bouzouki, guitar
Michael Rooney: harp
Mick Conneely: bouzouki
Padraic O'Reilly: piano

When two musicians of the caliber of piper Brian McNamara, a member of the famous musical family from Leitrim, and Tim Collins, the current concertina player with the Kilfenora Ceili Band, get together to record, the expectations are high that the result will be memorable. It's a lot of pressure, and there's always a risk, especially when the pairing of instruments is a bit out of the ordinary. But these two performers are veterans, each with several recordings under his belt, and I'm happy to report that together they deliver in grand style. McNamara and Collins play at the highest level, both individually and as a duet, and the participation of accompanists like Alec Finn (bouzouki), Michael Rooney (harp), and Padraic O’Reilly (piano) makes for a truly exceptional musical experience. Moreover, the musicians have come up with a set list chock-full of tunes more interesting and unusual one than the next. McNamara’s performance of the slow air “Travelling Through Blarney” is simply breathtaking, while the pair’s rendition of the great hornpipe “Johnny Cope,” with Rooney on harp, is as glorious, in its own way, as that recorded by Hill and Linnane some thirty years ago. This is as good as it gets.

Rating: **** 1/2

Price: $19.99                     
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See also:
   Tim Collins: Dancing on Silver
   Brian McNamara: A Piper's Dream
   Brian McNamara: Fort of the Jewels
   The McNamara Family: Leitrim's Hidden Treasure
1. Reels: Aggie Whyte's Reel / The Small Hills of Offaly / The Widow's Daughter
2. Jigs: The Ballinacourty / Snug in the Blanket
3.Hornpipes: The Good Natured Man / The West End
4. Reels: The Wexford Lassies / Biddy from Muckross / Spike Island Lassies
5. Air: Ag Taisteal na Blarnan (Travelling Through Blarney)
6. Reels: The Nine Pint Coggie / Sailing Into Walpole's Marsh / The Beauty Spot
7. Jigs: Petticoat Loose / Cro na nGabhar
8. Reels: The Boys on the Hilltop / The Cashmere Shawl / The Sunny Banks
9. Jigs: Fasten the Leg In / Westering Home / Tell Her I Am
10. Hornpipe: Johnny Cope
11. Reels: The Lady's Cup of Tea / The Basket of Oysters / The Kerry Lassie
12. Jigs: The Wearied Lad / The Humours of Rahey
13. Air: The Bright Lady
14. Jigs: The Return to Burton Road / Do You Want Anymore? / The Humours of Glen
15. Reels: John Kelly's Concertina Reel / Our House at Home / The Ballynacally Reel