PADDY O’BRIEN, NATHAN GOURLEY, DAITHI SPROULE – BRIGHT AND EARLY (2014)
8 March 2015
Paddy O’Brien has been dedicated for over sixty years to the two-row button accordion. From Offaly he emigrated to Minnesota/USA, but often returns back to Ireland. Besides his championship titles, he is known for his huge repertoire: approximately three thousand pieces. He’s chosen some of the most beautiful for his new album with this trio. He concentrates primarily on the great Irish musicians of the 20th century, some of whom composed the tunes included. Paddy is assisted here by the young violinist Nathan Gourley. The unison playing is so tight that you may discover the fiddle only when listening very carefully. The third member of the trio is Dáithí Sproule on guitar, who is in great demand as a member of Altan internationally, and provides his distinctive, never-intrusive backing guitar here.
This is an instrumental album; the 16 tracks are pure accordion plus fiddle. The dynamics remain the same throughout, so it’s the responsibility of the individual tunes to create different emphases, and this is done with beautiful melody phrases or unusual changes of key. With his steady, relaxed, and flowing sound Paddy O’Brien creates an accordion-trance. This album is especially enjoyable for professionals who are looking for beautiful pieces to learn and play along.