Celtic Rock Music
Paddy O’Brien ~ The Sailor’s Cravat / Mixing the Punch (2011)
28 April 2012
Reviewed by Thomas Hecking
(Thanks to Connie Drost Byrne for the translation…)
Paddy O’Brien delights friends of Irish traditional music with two albums produced in quick succession. The US-based Irishman Paddy O’Brien is regarded as walking reservoir of more than 4000 instrumental pieces, and as a champion on the button accordion. On “Sailor’s Cravat” he is joined by fiddler Tom Schaefer, bouzouki player Paul Wehling, and Paddy’s wife Erin Hart, who sings three unaccompanied traditional songs. Jigs, reel, polkas and hornpipes played in traditional manner and perfect sync pearl into the listener’s ear. The connoisseur will appreciate the compilation of mostly unusual pieces, including many compositions by fiddle legends Paddy Fahey and Sean Ryan.
The solo CD “Mixing The Punch” evokes a certain ballroom flair. This is due to the sensitive piano accompaniment by Teresa Baker. Again, Paddy O’Brien brings his very own personal take to tunes from a wide variety of sources. Highlights are certainly the slow air “The Flight of the Wild Geese” and the powerfully played Reelset “Arthur Darley’s / The Glen of Aherlow.” Paddy O’Brien avoids popular trends in his playing, unlike guest boxplayer Felim Egan who plays a set of jigs.