Album Review - John O' Shea / Irish Guitar

It is rare to encounter a traditional guitar album that has the ability to free itself from some of the constraints that are normally associated with fingerstyle guitar. This album simply called Irish Guitar has managed to do that and in the process John O'Shea has succeeded in combining sensitive and emotive styles of playing with grittier and more rock influenced elements. Even on the first two tracks, the contrast between the delicate opener called Maidin Luain Cincíse and the following more high tempo second track, The Floating Crowbar could not be more stark.  He also adapts tunes such as the Séamus Ennis inspired Smash The Windows jig to suit his own style, and pairs it with a self-composition called The Six-String Jig composed specifically for the guitar. With John you simply can’t predict where he will take you with his music and his fresh interpretation of some traditional material makes him one of the most exciting traditional guitarists around.  It’s an album that demands repeated plays, and with it John has added a new and unique guitar voice to the tradition. 

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