Con­sider the Source

The Irish Times - Friday - The Ticket - - Musicreviews - SIOB­HÁN LONG

Cló Iar Chon­nachta Dra­mat­i­cally tak­ing flight from the pre­ci­sion en­gi­neer­ing of his 2002 solo de­but, First Through the Gate, fid­dler Brian Con­way in­fuses his play­ing th­ese days with a new­found un­bri­dled en­ergy. At­tribut­ing much of this verve to a new fid­dle, the New Yorker loosens the ties that pre­vi­ously bound him al­most slav­ishly to the play­ing of his hero, Andy McGann. In par­tic­u­lar, Con­way’s de­ci­sion to re­claim The Wounded Hus­sar (a slow air more usu­ally as­so­ci­ated with the ac­cor­dion) is a pulse-stop­per. His in­clu­sion of two songs ini­tially sur­prises, but ul­ti­mately they re­veal the fid­dle as the sub­tlest con­duit for ac­com­pa­ni­ment, and his book­end­ing of Ni­amh Par­sons’s High­land Mary shim­mers with equal parts re­straint and poignancy. A joy­ous un­veil­ing of an orig­i­nal and highly charis­matic fid­dle voice. Down­load tracks: The Eclipse, The Wounded Hus­sar

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