Album Review - Sinéad Healy / Shuffle The Deck

The gentle swing of a Jerry Holland hornpipe called Mary Claire’s introduces this piano accordion debut by Sinéad Healy. An All-Ireland winner in 2007, she has in place all the right credentials to deliver an impressive first recording. There is a light and breezy Breton feel to a large part of the album.  After the opening pair of hornpipes she takes us into a beautiful French waltz called Breton Lullaby and from there into a set of Breton Reels. There is also a big band feel to many of the tracks with strong percussion, bass and keyboards driving many along.  Tim Edey’s trademark guitar work is also a constant companion to Sinéad, but it is her deft hand that is the glue holding everything together.  She switches her playing effortlessly from strong to achingly sensitive as the occasion demands.  You don’t hear that many piano accordion albums of late, and it’s good to be reminded of their beauty in the hands of an accomplished musician.  Sinéad has thankfully made up for this shortage on Shuffle the Deck. In addition to Tim Edey on guitar she is joined by Martin Brunsden (double bass), Jim Higgins (percussion), Gráinne Healy (keyboard), Darragh Healy (violin), Seán Horsman (guitar) and Micheál Healy (mandolin).

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