Tunes in the Church is a concert series that has been running on the west coast of Ireland for the last 3 years.  These Church concerts are held throughout the summer months in Galway, Wesport and Killarney. Cormac Begley, son of legendary Kerry accordion player Brendan Begley is the visionary behind the concept and their mission is to set new standards for the presentation of traditional Irish music. This live compilation is in keeping with their programming approach as it features well-known and less-well-known musicians. Firstly it must be said that the music is outstanding throughout.  Even though it is a live compilation, it presents itself as a much more solid piece of work and doesn't suffer from normal compilation syndrome of stitched together tracks.  There is a coherent ambiance to the recording emanating as it does from the natural acoustics of the Church combined with a consistent recording procedure.  In a nutshell it sounds more like an album than a compilation of artists.

For anyone wanting an introduction to Irish music, this is as good a starting point as you will get. It is representative of where the true authentic voice of Irish traditional music is at in the 21st Century. Live unedited music is where the heart of the tradition is, and this recording captures it beautifully. The 13 tracks feature 21 artists arranged in various solo, duet and trio combinations giving some beautiful tracks and renditions of some new and well travelled tunes. It covers many instruments with concertina featuring prominently. It is paired with flute, fiddle, viola and pipes. There are some outstanding tracks throughout that shine for their understated elegance.  This includes the sublime Bold Doherty's /P. Joe's performed by Clíodhna Ní Bheaglaoich on viola and Cormac Begley on baritone concertina, Mickey Callaghan's / Seargeant Early's Jig by Cormac Cannon on uilleann pipes and Breda Keville on fiddle and a lovely paced Apples in Winter / Gillan's Apples by Jack Talty on concertina and Áine Bird on fiddle. Other artists include Brendan Begley and Helen Diamond who provide a couple of songs and another beautiful duet by a relatively unknown Marie and Tim McHugh from Newport in Co. Mayo. This is superior traditional Irish music and a more entertaining and well recorded live album you will not find. Like the incense that has so often invaded our senses on Mass day, this Church music has a similar but more pleasing effect.

Available Monday 24th July at

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Comment by david kaye on August 30, 2013 at 21:19

Nice and simple could almost fall asleep listening to it !!

Comment by Paul Phillips on June 24, 2013 at 20:27

how hauntingly beautiful, can't wait to get the CD.

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