Album Review - Robbie MacGowran / Basically

Robbie MacGowran has been playing whistle now for over 30 years. His interest in music goes back to the '70's where he found inspiration listening to The Chieftans, Séan O Riada, Planxty and others. Meeting lots of great musicians over the years helped him to develop his music, and during that time he has covered a lot of ground. From a time spent in Galway many years ago to a period exploring Europe his music has stayed with him. Putting down on record some of his favourite tracks became a priority and with the assistance of Ruairi Kelly on guitar he finally got himself into a local studio in Wicklow.

The album features some very sharp and clear whistle playing with some intricate guitar accompaniment by Ruairi. There are some superbly executed tracks where guitar and whistle play off each other perfectly. It is a testament to the endeavours of musicians like Robbie who take the initiative to get into the studio and produce something of real worth. There is a great clarity to his music with ornamentation flowing with ease - nicely paced and steady throughout. His choice of music includes a lot of well known tunes including Kitty Gone A Milking, The Knotted Chord, Tobin's Favourite, The Swallows Tail and College Groves reels. With nice variation in the tunes he delivers them with style. For whistle players in particular this provides a very good reference for great tunes played with honesty and integrity. Self produced and funded albums like this should be heard and will hopefully provide inspiration to other musicians across the globe to get into the studio. Well worth checking out. We did an interview with Robbie some time ago which you can read here.

Check out the album on cdbaby : www.cdbaby.com/cd/robbiemacgowran

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Comment by Bernard Keilty on February 16, 2013 at 15:21

Just received my copies of CD and wow! its everything the review said and then some. Lovely whistling.

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