Album Review - Patrick D'Arcy / Wallop The Spot

Originally from Dublin, Patrick D'Arcy has spent most of his musical life in California.  He tours regularly in the US as well as being the founding member of the Southern California Uilleann Pipers Club and creator of Getting around to recording has been put on the back burner for a while but has finally arrived with Wallop The Spot. In his early days of playing the Uilleann pipes Patrick would venture to County Clare where he was enthralled by the playing of Willie Clancy.  Add to this Seamus Ennis and you have two masters whose influence seeps into this recording both in tune choice as well as art.  

The more you listen the more you realise what an accomplished recording it is.  From some glorious Planxty numbers like Sí Beag Sí Mor/ Tabhair Dom Do Lámh to reels like The Copperplate/The Old Copperplate/The Bank of Ireland you get a real feel for the control and interpretation of the music that Patrick possesses.  On the slow air Green Fields of America on B pipes he achieves great depth and emotion in the music.  On Jigs like Cailleach an Airgid/Árd an Bhóthair/Cailín An Tí Mhoir, especially with headphones on, you get a real sense of the beauty of this instrument, its versatility and glorious sound in the hands of a great musician.  He plays this set on D Pipes and it really skips along with a vibrant buzz.  An Raibh Tú Ag An gCarraigh is another beautiful tune played on a D Low Whistle.  It’s a great rendition and translates to "Were you at the Rock?" sourced from the singing of Seamus Ennis.  It again displays a fantastic approach to slow airs which Patrick seems to excel at. He gets to the heart of the unspoken sorrow that many of these tunes need to evoke in the listener in order for them to work.  It makes you stop, listen and appreciate.

This is a solo album of pipes and whistle and while I always feel the odd duo or trio is required on these albums in order to provide the variety needed for the listener, Patrick provides the perfect counterbalance with some solo whistle and his airs which are outstanding, making this a fine album and well worth the investment.

Listen and buy :

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