Paudie O'Connor is an excellent young B/C accordion player from Ballyhar, Co. Kerry, and his wonderful debut CD is very much in line with the best that Sliabh Luachra music has to offer. While the material played here, dominated by polkas, slides and other Sliabh Luachra tunes sourced from Padraig O'Keeffe, Denis Murphy, Johnny O'Leary, and others, is well chosen and keeps the listener interested, it is O'Connor's remarkable style of playing, full of invention and subtle touches, which grabs center stage and doesn't let go. Not because O'Connor is a showy player, mind you, just because it is that good. In fact, I keep thinking how my first hearing of this CD reminded me of the first time I heard Jackie Daly on record almost thirty years ago. While some guest musicians, including Smoky Chimney guitar player Paul De Grae, join O'Connor on a few tracks, this is for the most part very much a true solo album, a courageous course to take any time, and one more reason to commend the musician for his choices. O'Connor's playing of airs (there are two here) is yet another. Whatever is different about this CD, I want more of it.
1. Polkas: The Hermit from Killarney / Tom Barrett's / Denis O'Keeffe's
2. Slides: Denis O'Keeffe's / Can Anyone Tell Me Where Nancy's Gone? / My Love in the Morning
3. Barn Dances: Thadelo Sullivan's / An Spailpin Fanach
4. Jigs: Eddie Kelly's / The Housekeeper
5. Polkas: Din Tarrant's / Bridgie Con Mattie's / Ger Collins'
6. Air: Aisling Gheal
7. Reels: The Rising Sun / The Mountain Top / Captain Byng
8. Polka: The Pigs Eating Nuts in the Wood
9. Hornpipes: The Boys of Scart / O'Connor's Favourite
10. Jigs: Peig sa Susa / Jimmy O'Brien's
11. Polkas: Ned Connor's / Gan Ainm / Denis O'Keeffe's
12. Reels: Jackson's / The Scolding Wife / Kitty in the Lane
13. Air: Casamar Araon na Geanna Romhainn
14. Slides: Padraig O'Keeffe's / The Old Torn Petticoat / Dan Jeremiah's