Jesse Smith: fiddle
Harry Bradley: flute
John Blake: guitar, piano
Seosamh O'Neachtain: dancing

The son of Donna Long, the current piano player with Cherish the Ladies, Jesse grew up learning from fiddle player Brendan Mulvihill, and has since made a name for himself as the fiddle player with the very successful band Danu, while also making guest appearances on a number of CDs playing fiddle and viola. On this, his second solo album (the first was a cassette-only release made in Baltimore when he was 15 or so, and already scary-good), Jesse demonstrates a level of skill which James Kelly justifiably describes as that usually associated with much older and more mature musicians. There's some brilliant playing here, but it's understated and tasteful, not just for the show. His bow work, particularly on the hornpipe triplets, is quite remarkable, and he can really get a groove going. Jesse's increased interest in classic Irish music from the 78 era  is well in evidence in his choice of material, with some classic tunes from James Morrison, John McKenna, Killoran and Sweeney, the Flanagan Brothers, etc. Jesse is accompanied on guitar and piano by John Blake, one of the best accompanists in Irish music at the moment. Also appearing on the CD is the great Belfast flute player Harry Bradley, who has a couple of solo CDs to his credit, and with whom Jesse shares a love for the music of the 1920s. Jesse and Harry have a duet album due to be released soon and their duet track here, a preview of what's to come, is certainly one of this CD's highlights. My only complaint: I wish there had been a few more tracks...

Rating: ****

Price: $19.99                     Recommended
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See also:
   The Tap Room Trio
   Harry Bradley: As I Carelessly Did Stray...
1. Reels: Back in the Garden / Colonel Frazer
2. Reels: Paddy Kelly's / The Temple House
3. Barndances: Batt Henry's / Flanagan's
4. Jig & Reel: Devlin's Favourite / The Musical Priest
5. Air: The Little Heathy Hill
6. Jigs: O'Reilly's / The Green Blanket
7. Polkas: Happy Birdie / Blue Bell
8. Hornpipes: The Champion / The High Level
9. Reels: The Leitrim Thrush / The Old Pensioner / Lawson's Favourite
10. Hornpipes: The Bridge of Athlone / Dunphy's
11. Reels: Conor Tully's / First Month of Spring
12. Jigs: P.J. Clancy's