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Private Label AMCF01

Banjo and guitar from North West County Cork, a pair of experienced local players trying for wider recognition - and why not? Both these lads are fine musicians, and there's a vibrancy to their music which I find very appealing. They're joined on a few tracks by box-player D J Curtin and pianist Aileen Dillane, both from County Limerick. Adrian takes the lead on most tracks, with Cathal doing just enough to add to the sound without intruding on the melody. The guitar enjoys two solos, on the slow air Sean O'Dwyer Of The Glen and a pair of well-known jigs: both are very pleasant, although the first is diminished by Adrian appending The Boys Of Bluehill to it. The button box and banjo duet on slides and polkas, old tunes well played, with a couple of interesting rarities in The Dirty Tretties and Eileen O'Keeffe's.

Between The Strings isn't technically perfect, although it comes close. Adrian has a slight over-fondness for that bottom open G, at the end of The Wandering Minstrel for instance, but otherwise his playing is stylish and punchy. He has tasty versions of Lucy Campbell, Martin Wynne's Number 4, Grainne's Jig and Darby's Farewell, as well as Eddie Kelly's Meelick Team Jig and Sully's reel Marion Egan's. There's also a banjo rendition of Carolan's Concerto, a new experience for me. In contrast to many CDs, the guitar could do with being slightly higher in the mix, but that's a minor point. Overall this is a promising debut recording from two musicians who deserve to be more widely known. Their website is a bit of a mouthful - - but it has photos, samples, ordering details and more.

Alex Monaghan

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This album was reviewed in Issue 89 of The Living Tradition magazine.