Brendan O'Regan - Bouzouki/Mandolin/Guitar.
Tommy Hayes - Bodhran and Percussion.
Damien Evans - Bass.
Home is where the heart is and the heart of Gerry O'Connor's music lies in County Tipperary. Born and raised in Garrykennedy. he is a triple-threat instrumentalist (fiddle, guitar, tenor banjo) who got his first exposure to music from his father. Liam, a fiddler originally from Kerry and a member of the Ormond Ceili Band led by legendary Newtown button accordionist, Paddy O'Brien.
- The Bag of Spuds / The Copperplate
- Tom Billy's Jigs
- Billy in the Lowground
- No Place Like Home ( Gerry O'Connor)
- Thomond Bridge / Sean Ryan's
- Paddy O'Brien Selection
- Colonel Fraser
- Banish Misfortune / The Trip to Killarney
- Brendan Regan's Reels
- Ruby's Birthday ( Gerry O'Connor)
- Really Green Reel ( Gerry O'Connor)
On this aptly titled "No Place Like Home." his third solo album ("Time to Time" in 1991 was his first, and "Myriad" in 1998 was his second).
Gerry honours the music of his home county on successive tracks, The first is "Thomond Bridge/The Cuckoo's First Call," with the latter tune coming from the great Newtown fiddler-composer Sean Ryan.
The second is a medley of reels, "Iniscealtra/Town Teine/Ormond Sound," all written by Paddy O'Brien. In addition. Gerry pays homage to his father's native county by performing "Trip to Killarney" and "Tom Billy's." named after the blind Sliabh Luachra fiddler Tom Billy Murphy.
Those tunes and others such as "The Bag of Spuds/The Copper Plate." two peels he learned in sessions at the Barge Inn in Garrykennedy. peppesent both musical milestones and biogpaphical touchstones for Gerry. They summon up memories of places and people that shaped his approach to the music heard here. "I tried to
play within myself and focus on tempo." he explained. "I hope listeners will discover more atmosphere than technique on this album."
Even in full service to that atmosphere. his technique is formidable
especially on four-string banjo, which he plays with unsurpassed brilliance. Gerry took informal banjo lessons from Limerick's Larry Ryan who used the same tuning he did C-G-D-A. He also absorbed some of the style and music, including "Colonel Fraser" off Clare tenor banjoist Kieran Hanrahan. Another early influence on Gerry's banjo playing came courtesy of American television: the soundtrack to "The Beverly Hillbillies" series broadcast in Ireland during the
1970s. "That music really captivated me." he said, citing Earl Scruggs's "zippy, high, cross-picking" prowess on five-string banjo.
Some of that American bluegrass flavor certainly seeps into Gerry's tenor banjo picking on "Billy in the Lowground/The Temperance Reel."
He learned me first tune off the Kentucky Colonels' classic bluegrass album of 1964. "Appalachian Swing." featuring the innovative guitar playing of Clarence White, while the second tune. a bluegrass and old-timey standard, is better known in the Irish music tradition as "The Teetotaler."
Over the years the skill and soulfulness of Gerry's playing have distinguished several bands: Tipsy Sailor, Wild Geese, Arcady, and Four Men and a Dog (1993-present). He's also worked with the Waterboys. Luka Bloom, Chris Rea, Bonnie Tyler, Moya Brennan, and THE Band's Levon Helm, Rick Danko, and Garth Hudson.
This superb solo album, which includes a beautiful banjo solo on the lullaby-like "Ruby's Birthday." one of three melodies he wrote, will only add luster to Gerry O'Connor's growing global reputation. It proves there's no place like home-and no talent quite like his. Earle Hitchner, The Wall Street Journal & Irish Echo
The Stillwater Times Reviews Star Rating: ****
This is another traditional Folk album from Ireland that once again showcases the depth of talent that exists in the Emerald Isle. Gerry O'Connor is a master craftsman when it comes to playing the banjo, his music is highly infectious and with the assistance of Brendan O'Regan, Tommy Hayes & Damien Evans, "No Place like Home" has fast become an instant classic of the genre