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With Joe Cooley, Barney McKenna, Seamus Connolly, James Kelly,

John Sheahan, Peadar Mercier, John Beag O'Flaharta & Liam O'Maonlai

Audio

The College Groves:

The Rolling Wave:

The Limerick Lasses:

Track Listing

  1. An Buachaillín Bán
  2. Toss The Feathers. Reels with Seamus Connolly
  3. Port na bPúcaí
  4. The Battle of Aughrim. Duet with Barney McKenna
  5. Poll Halfpenny, Mrs Galvin's, The College Groves
  6. Caoneadh Eoghan Rua
  7. The Rolling Wave
  8. The College Groves / The Floggin Reel. Duet with James Kelly
  9. O'Neill's Cavalcade. Duet with Paedar Mercier
  10. The Limerick Lasses. Duet with Joe Cooley
  11. My Love She is No More. Breton Air
  12. Garrett Barry's/ The Gander in the Pratie Hole
  13. The Seige of Guincamp. Duet with Barney McKenna
  14. Amrhán na Leabhar. Song of the Books
  15. Apples in Winter / The Carraroe Jig. Duet with Seamus Connolly
  16. The Garden of Daisies.
  17. The Hughs of Cromdale

 

We are delighted to re-release this classic recording fomr one of Ireland's greatest interpretors of traditional music. Surrounded by the cream of Irish musicians from the past 30 years, Tony wrings every note of inspiration from every tune. A master at work.

Biography

Tony Macmahon is an excellent button accordion player from Miltown Malbay, county Clare , Ireland, a noted center for traditional music. Among his influences were accordionists Joe Cooley and Sonny Brogan, as well as piper Willie Clancy, fiddler Bobby Casey, and singer and piper Seamus Ennis.

Press Reviews

The Living Tradition

Tony MacMahon is a box-player from Clare (of course), but he is much more than that. He has been an important force in promoting and maintaining traditional music on Irish radio and television, and in presenting dance music as music to be danced to rather than a spectator sport or - perish the thought - a museum exhibit. He has three fine albums on the Gael-Linn label, two with Noel Hill, and has appeared on numerous other recordings.

This retrospective release contains material recorded throughout Tony MacMahon's thirty-year career, most of which has certainly not been readily available previously. The sleeve notes are surprisingly reticent about the provenance of some tracks, but it's clear that a good half dozen of the 17 tracks here are on record for the first time and many more have been rescued from archives. Tony is joined by some of the greats of Irish music: Joe Cooley, Peadar Mercier, Barney McKenna, James Kelly, Seamus Connolly and others. The older tracks are a fascinating glimpse of the tradition a generation ago, and the newer ones show how little has really changed in the heartland of Irish music.

In 70 minutes we are treated to reels, jigs, marches, set dances and slow airs, all played with thought and feeling. Slow airs are something of a speciality with Tony MacMahon, and one

of the striking things about this CD is that the slow tracks far outnumber the fast ones. Tony can rattle out a reel as well as the next time-served Clare accordionist, as is amply demonstrated in his fine duet with fiddler James Kelly, but the slow airs are where his singular mastery is most evident. "MacMahon from Clare" includes five fine examples: the opening lament "The Fair-Haired Boy", the eerie and magical "Port na bPucai", an unforgettable interpretation of the well-known "Caoineadh Eoghain Rua", a fine Breton air which will doubtless become popular, and a wonderful six-minute exploration of "Amhran na Leabhar" which is a challenging and deeply moving piece commemorating the loss at sea of all the manuscripts by the great Irish poet Tomas Rua O Suilleabhain.

Although Tony MacMahon has admitted that his first love is actually Arab music, this collection shows that he has absorbed more than a little of his own tradition and that his time spent with masters such as Joe Cooley and Seamus Ennis was far from wasted. This is not a CD to be taken lightly, but it is to be taken to heart and listened to with care, for here is a man who understands the music of his people. Alex Monaghan

Price: £13.99

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