BEST TRAD

The Irish Times - Friday - The Ticket - - MUSIC 2012 -

It’s been a strange year: out of left field came the re­nais­sance of the banjo, and We Banjo 3 do some­thing dra­mat­i­cally dif­fer­ent with the in­stru­ment: trac­ing its roots from Africa to the US and across the At­lantic.

Gerry Diver’s (left) The Speech Project is a thought-pro­vok­ing col­lec­tion that mar­ries orig­i­nal, avant-garde mu­sic with spo­ken-word re­flec­tions from a won­der­ful mix of mu­si­cians in­clud­ing Mar­garet Barry and Shane MacGowan. Zoë Con­way and John McIn­tyre’s Go Mairir i bh­Fad:

Long Life to You is a cel­e­bra­tory am­ble through newly-com­posed tunes from many of the best com­posers in the tra­di­tional id­iom, while Triúr’s sec­ond col­lec­tion show­cased the teem­ing imag­i­na­tion of Peadar Ó Ri­ada, whose com­po­si­tions glis­ten here.

And the dark horse of this year’s nom­i­nees? Al­tan’s box player, Der­mot Byrne and his harpist part­ner, Flo­ri­ane Blancke, de­liver a col­lec­tion of such sub­tlety and del­i­cacy as to ren­der the lis­tener an eaves­drop­per on the magic of it all.

THE SPEECH PROJECT

Gerry Diver

Siob­hán Long DER­MOT BYRNE AND FLO­RI­ANE BLANCKE

Der­mot Byrne and Flo­ri­ane Blancke

TRIÚIR ARÍS

Triúir

ROOTS OF THE BANJO TREE

We Banjo 3

GO MAIRIR I BH­FAD: LONG LIFE TO YOU

Zoë Con­way and John McIn­tyre

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