Michael Cooney: uilleann pipes, low whistle
Kevin Burke: fiddle
Bernie Nau: keyboards, harmonium
Ged Foley: guitar, mandolin
Tom Hall: bnjo, slide guitar
Tim Hogan: bodhran

The name of Michael Cooney, a piper raised in Westmeath and Tipperary, is fairly familiar to Americans because of his touring the US some years ago with Galway accordionist Joe Burke and performing with him at the famous John D. McGurk's in St. Louis. The two, along with singer/guitarist Terry Corcoran, recorded a CD for Green Linnet in 1986, and Cooney has appeared on a few other self-produced recordings since, but this is his first full-scale solo recording. He is joined by Kevin Burke (fiddle), playing in particular Burke's own jig "The Split Rock," with accompaniments by Ged Foley (guitar), Bernie Nau (keyboards), and Tim Hogan (bodhran). Cooney has a solid technique and has overcome the upper-octave intonation problems which made the Green Linnet CD hard to listen to for me. He combines classics of the piping tradition, like "The Gold Ring" and "Sean Reid's," with other tunes from further afield, like Kieran Hanrahan's "The Gold Stud," Frankie Gavin's "The Doberman's Wallet," even the famous Thomasson waltz "Midnight on the Water." One track of reels is played on a Froment flat set (B). On the slower side, there's a lovely rendition of the air "Greenfields of Canada," with flawless F naturals, and an interesting doubling on slide guitar the second time through, as well a nice arrangement of "Sally Gardens" for two low whistles.

Rating: *** 1/2

Price: $16.99
Our Catalogue 
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1. Jigs: My Love in the Morning / The Split Rock / The Battering Ram
2. Reels: O'Connell's Trip to Parliament / Micho Russell's / Famous Ballymote
3. Air: Green Fields of Canada
4. Scottish March: Donal MacLean's Farewell to Oban
5. Jigs, Reel: Pipe on the Hob / Na Ceannabhain Bhana / The Gleanntan Reel
6. Air, Jigs: The Sally Gardens / Jimmy Ward's / Peter Byrne's Fancy
7. Reels: Easter Sunday / The Commons / The Milliner's Daughter
8. Jigs: The Gold Ring / The Doberman's Wallet
9. Reels: Sean Reid's / Fred Finn's
10. Military March: Johnny Cope
11. Reels: Kiss the Maid Behind the Barrel / The Gold Stud / Joe Cooley's No. 2
12. Waltz: Midnight on the Water