Michael Rooney: harp
June McCormack: flute
Aoife O'Brien: violin
Fergal Scahill: guitar

There was quite a buzz going around about this album by harp player Michael Rooney, who made an impressive recording with fiddle player Oisin Mac Diarmada a few years ago, and Sligo flute player June McCormack, formerly heard on a lovely CD by the band Siona. Indeed, both players are formidable technicians as well as masters of the traditional idiom, and the combination of flute and harp is a no-brainer, at least with musicians of this caliber. To this, Rooney adds his considerable talents as a composer, four of his tunes being included here. With the addition of violins and cello, Rooney's minuet "Na Maithe Mora" is a beautiful piece which would have made the Carolan generation of harpers proud, and his slip jig "Tir Rafartaigh," previously recorded by Siobhan Peoples and Murty Ryan (apparently under the wrong title), is a jewel. McCormack's flute playing is as immaculate as her tone is powerful, and it's a pleasure to hear her renditions of Josie McDermott tunes. However, I must confess that, at first hearing, I thought the album lacked energy. After spending more time with it, I would have to say that my expectations at first prevented me to listen to the music on its own terms. This is gorgeous, often delicate, music, akin to chamber music rather than to a raucous session at the neighborhood pub, and it shouldn't be judged on the same terms. Just beautiful.

Rating: ****

Price: $19.99
Our Catalogue 
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1. Jigs: Joe Deranne's Jig / Port na Cordaile
2. Hornpipes & Reel: The Fly by Night / Cornphíopa Corafinne / Cape Breton Fiddlers Welcome to Shetland
3. Minuet: Na Maithe Móra 
4. Reels: The Concert Reel / Salute to Baltimore
5. Slow Air: Aghaidh Jhanuis
6. Slip Jigs: Gort na Móna / Tír Rafartaigh
7. Jigs & March: I Ne'er Shall Wean Her / The Shores of Lough Gowna / Maguire's Clan March
8. Reels: Sonny's Return / Fr. Grady's Visit to Bocca
9. Piece, Jig, and Reel: Planxty Aisling O Neill / Lurgadán / Homage to Rooney
10. Jigs: The Killavil Jig / Tommy Mulhaire's Jig / Willie Coleman's Jig
11. Slow Air: An Bhuatais
12. Reel: The Graf Spey 
See also:
       Land's End
     Oisin Mac Diarmada, Brian Fitzgerald & Michael Rooney
       Siona: Launching the Boat