Traditional Irish Music
On The Beat of the Breath, Brian Hughes's keen ear for phrasing and his intricate ornamentation go without question. Listening to The Roscommon Reel / Ah Surely, the audio included below, will give a strong indication of the quality that we are dealing with here. Whistle albums sometimes need a strong percussive underlay to flatten out the sharper edges in the sound and this is where The Beat of the Breath excels. Once your ear goes beyond Brian's playing you start to notice the work of Garry Ó Briain on piano, guitar and bass, Séan McElwain on guitar and bouzouki, Donnchadh Gough on bodhrán and David Day on African drums. They come together very well and give a very cohesive group feel to the album. Tracks like The Maple Leaf/Bag of Spuds/The Primrose Lass are brightly paced and contrast the leisurely O' Sullivans March. There are only a couple of points where the musicians level of intensity dips. In the main the album feels more like a group of seasoned musicians playing determined and focused music and less like a solo whistle album with support, which is a major plus. An expressive and enjoyable recording that sets a clear benchmark for other whistlers that may follow.
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