Brian Conway: Consider The Source
Brendan Dolan, Joanie Madden, Billy McComiskey, Felix Dolan, Niamh Parsons, Dan Milner, John Nolan, Eamon O'Leary, Heather Martin Bixler, Gabe Donohue, Brad Albetta
Brian Conway is considered the leading player in the Sligo—New York style of playing, and this, his second solo album, is described by Earle Hitchner in the introduction as 'a striking document of his evolving virtuosity, musicality and the inspiration and pleasure that come from playing such a responsive instrument for the past six years.' The instrument in question is a Degani violin purchased by Conway six years ago which he feels has had a huge influence on his playing. He also appreciates the development in his playing over the years: 'I think my playing has gotten better with age. There's more fun and energy in my fiddling. I also have these excellent students, and working and playing with them has improved my techniques and made me examine more closely the structure of a tune and the relationship between bowing and phrasing.' Earle Hitchner says of the playing: 'Brian brings to his music an enviable equilibrium of style, substance, taste, imagination and deference to the past'. This deference to the past is also reflected in the title of the album, Consider the Source, a reference to both the importance of the source of the music and also the style of playing which originated, of course, in Co. Sligo and was brought across the Atlantic by such musical greats as Michael Coleman and James Morrison.
The album includes a large selection of tunes as well as a slow air and two songs, sung by Dan Milner and Niamh Parsons respectively. Brian is accompanied on the album by Brendan Dolan, Joanie Madden, Billy McComiskey, Felix Dolan, John Nolan, Eamon O'Leary, Heather Martin Bixler, Gabe Donohue and Brad Albetta.
The CD will be launched at Scoil Samhraidh Willie Clancy on Sunday 6 July and at the Catskills Irish Arts Week, East Durham, New York on Friday 18 July.
Reels: Trim the Velvet / Lord Gordon's .
Jigs: Keys to the Convent / The Knockawhinna / Teviot Bridge
Hornpipes: Tailor's Twist / Galway Bay / O'Kelly's Fancy
Song: Matt Hyland
Reels: John McGrath's / Dave Collins' / Larry Redican's
Waltz Set: Veleta Waltz / Oslo Waltz
Reels: Jackson's No. 1 /Jackson's No. 2 / The White !.eaf
Slow Air: The Wounded Hussar
Reels: The Peeler's Jacket / Lucy Campbell / The Humours of Westport
Jigs: Killimor / Pat McKenna's / Father Hanley's
O'Carolan composition: Madam Maxwell
Jigs: O'Mahony's Frolics / Condon's Frolics / Swans Among the Rushes
Song: Highland Mary
Hornpipes: The Eclipse /The Sunshine
Reels: Bonnie Kate /Jenny's Chickens / The Mason's Apron / Peter Street
Also available from Copperplate Mail Order:
Brian Conway and friends: First Thru The Gate
Brian Conway, Joe Burke and Felix Dolan: Tribute to Andy McGann
Born in the Bronx, New York, to Irish parents from Co. Tyrone, Brian Conway was fortunate to have grown up in a home frequented by some of the best Irish traditional musicians of the time, such as Vincent Harrison, Louis Quinn, Tom Connolly, Paddy Reynolds and Andy McGann, a musician who was to have an enduring influence on him. His tutors were also musicians of note, Martin Mulvihill and Martin Wynne. Brian's first solo album, First through the Gate, was released on the Smithsonian Folkways label in 2002.
Also available from Copperplate
Brian Conway: First Through The Gate
Brian Conway/Joe Burke/Felix Dolan/ A Tribute to Andy McGann
We first heard Conway at a special concert for Andy McGann last year at the Irish-American Heritage Center in Chicago, along with Joe Burke on button box and Felix Dolan on piano. The resultant live album won a number of Awards, and rightly so. This is a lively 14 tunes and a beautiful song, Highland Mary by Niamh Parsons. Guest musicians are sitting in, including Billy McComiskey on button box , Joanie Madden on flutes and whistles, and Felix's son, Brendan on piano. Terrific. We MIGHT have preferred one of the many pics not to be showing Brian displaying his great teeth through so many smiles, but we quibble. The music is the thing here, and it is lovely. Rating: 3 and