Album Review - Tommy McCarthy & Louise Costello / Grace Bay

Tommy McCarthy and Louise Costello display an intuitive understanding of duet playing on their debut album, Grace Bay.  The music flows from them with precision and ease as they extract the essence from some standard tunes and breathe new life into them.  Their delivery and sound has an old world feel to it reminiscent of classic recording from decades past.  Their playing is tight and refined, honed over many years in the Boston music scene which is their home.  Tracks are finely balanced between fiddle, accordion and banjo.  A variety of sound and texture is cleverly built into each arrangement without ever sounding contrived of forced. Fiddle and banjo trace perfect paths through tracks like Richard Dwyer’s Reel/McFadden’s Hansome Daughter.  Quieter moments and self-compositions pepper the track listing.   Martin O' Malley’s guitar and Noel O' Grady’s bouzouki provide perfect support with Johnny "Ringo" McDonagh on bodhrán and daughter Rose McCarthy also involved. An audio of The Corner House/The Boys of Dublin is included below giving a clear indication of what a great traditional album should sound like. Highly recommended.

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