Tra­di­Tional

The Irish Times - Friday - The Ticket - - MUSICREVIEWS -

PETER CON­LON

The Ge­nius of Peter Con­lon Old­time Records ★★★★ Old­time Records’ lat­est opus is a dou­ble CD col­lec­tion of the record­ings of a 19th-cen­tury Gal­way melodeon player. A mu­si­cian of steely de­ter­mi­na­tion and fo­cus, Peter Con­lon has been lured from ob­scu­rity through the in­ves­tiga­tive ef­forts of a co­terie of acolytes. But the real beauty of this col­lec­tion lies in its mar­riage of mu­sic and his­tory, with bi­og­ra­phy and reper­toire in­ter­wo­ven in a richly re­searched book­let that con­jures a world of ad­ven­ture, much of it lo­cated around New York, where Con­lon em­i­grated in 1912. The surge in in­ter­est and avail­abil­ity of Ir­ish mu­sic from the 1920s was partly in­spired by the vig­or­ous play­ing of Con­lon, as well as the more widely known Michael Cole­man and James Mor­ri­son. A labour of love, this trea­sure trove will feed the reper­toires of mu­si­cians in search of fresh in­spi­ra­tion – at home and away. SIOBHAN LONG

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