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Private Label  CFCD0012

What is it about Manchester these days that seems to breed ultra-talented musicians?  Colin Farrell is yet another to come out of the same stable that gave us Mike McGoldrick, John Joe Kelly, Dezi Donnelly, etc.  Colin, in this debut recording, gives us some fine tunes - all but two of them self-penned.  Rhythmic, diverse and innovative arrangements lift, augment and swing the tunes in different directions giving the album a very modern but chilled out feel.
Colin is a very accomplished fiddle and whistle player and this is well demonstrated throughout the album as he interchanges and overlays the instruments with precision and aplomb.  Overall, the tunes stand well on their own merits but there are a few gems thrown in here and there as well - check out Soho South, Bridge Street, Tabla Jigs and Lough Guitane amongst others. 

The initial thought is that this sounds like a Michael McGoldrick album – not a bad comparison in anybody’s book - indeed, the great man himself taught Colin to play whistle, co-produced the album and plays on a number of the tracks so there is no doubting the influence he has had on the overall sound and production values

Much of the underlying accompaniment I would describe as “McGoldrick” style with brass, 5 string banjo, tablas, drums and synth supplementing the more usual instrumental backings. There is also a bit of almost tongue in cheek looping and sampling going on here and there too, just to prove that inspiration for traditional style music can come from anywhere! 

A who’s who of musicians ably aid and abet Colin throughout – Mike McGoldrick, John Joe Kelly, Tony Byrne, Donald Shaw and Ewen Vernal to name but a few.

This is a nicely chilled out and relaxed collection of well written tunes, played, arranged and produced in an interesting, contemporary style.  Nothing hell for leather here but something which I could listen to over and over again – an album which sneaks up and grabs you the more you listen to it.

Jim Byrne

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This album was reviewed in Issue 90 of The Living Tradition magazine.