Our Dear Dark Moun­tain with the Sky Over It In­de­pen­dent re­lease ★★★★

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

Labours of love can fal­ter at the last hur­dle: the junc­ture where home ties are sun­dered and the wider world gets a peep in. Sean McEl­wain, bouzouki player and gui­tarist with Téada, has un­der­taken a gar­gan­tuan task of un­earthing the mu­sic of his na­tive place, Sli­abh Beagh (on the Mon­aghan/Fer­managh bor­der), di­vest­ing it of its cob­webs and rep­re­sent­ing it with the gal­lant as­sis­tance of nine fel­low mu­si­cians. Sur­prises lurk in the un­like­li­est of places: in the dis­cov­ery of lo­cal mu­si­cians Owen Connolly and James White­side; in the pitch-per­fect ar­range­ment of pipes and fid­dle on Lul­laby for Ir­ish Pipes; and in the sleeve note ref­er­ences to the re­gion’s finest ad­vo­cate, Ea­monn Mur­ray, whose words pro­vide the ti­tle to the col­lec­tion. A re­viv­i­fied lo­cal ac­cent and an in­tensely pop­u­lated reper­toire un­der­pin this finely ex­e­cuted col­lec­tion: a feast for lo­cal and cu­ri­ous eared vis­i­tor alike. our­dear­dark­moun­

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