The music that I most fondly remember has always been the late at night, behind locked doors type. When everyone has gone home bar the last few stragglers. Instruments have been put away in preparation for home, yet something says the night is not quite over. Fond memories linger of such nights when you may have a solo fiddle or accordian. Maybe someone doing some backing with guitar, maybe not. There is something very appealing about the raw energy and beauty of music in such a setting. 

Capturing this in the studio setting has never been easy. The technology available in this modern era has produced some fantastic records. However, every and now and then, less known records appear on the horizon that may not have the production values but capture in a more tangible way the essence of the music. The early Andy McGann records stand out as well as others by Declan Folan, Quelly O'Donoghue and others. It makes you wonder what else is out there that we haven't yet discovered.

TradConnect members Dulahan Irl which features Joe and Adéle Greene have produced such a record. Called Airs & Gracenotes features Adéle on harp, fiddle and keyboard and Joe on banjo and guitar. Recorded at Sliabh Liag Studios in Kilcar, Co.Donegal it features as the name states, a fine selection of airs, reels and jigs. There is something very appealing about the starkness of the recordings. The opening tracks feature some well know standards including Tripping up the Stairs, Out on The Ocean and the Lilting Banshee. The recording here is crystal clear with Adéle in fine form. The fiddle and guitar blend well with an uncomplicated arrangement that provides a refreshing appeal. This is followed by a pair of waltz tunes that again show the versatility of Joe and Adéle.

The harp is also featured well throughout the album with Adéle showing a very delicate and sensitive touch with a Turlough O'Carolan tune, Eleanor Plunkett. Having had the pleasure of playing with Joe at a Dublin session his banjo playing sounds as good on record as it did on that night and he gives some fine performances here including The Sally Gardens, The Star of Munster and others. A stand out track on the album is one composed by Adéle herself simply called Adéle's Reel. It a beautiful haunting slow reel that seeps into your head after only one listen and stays for some time. It's a tune that should be picked up and covered by other artists such is it's appeal and to hear it on pipes or flute would prove an interesting and worthwhile experiment. Other self compositions also feature including a great pair of jigs on banjo called The Old Woman's Jig and The Ghost in The Glen. It gets me thinking about how many other albums there might be out there, sitting just under the radar and rightly deserving of some more exposure.

 

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Comment by Maurice McGrath on September 3, 2013 at 20:58

Just came across this on Soundcloud... https://soundcloud.com/www-tradconnect-com/dulahan-ad-les-reel-calhame

Absolutely gorgeous music!

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