Link to Living Tradition Homepage





OISÍN McAULEY - Far From The Hills Of Donegal

OISÍN McAULEY - Far From The Hills Of Donegal
Compass Records 4446

The first solo outing from Danú’s fiddle player finds McAuley on sparkling form.  As might be expected, the tunes of Donegal are in abundance and these include typical examples of highlands and barn dances (although played rather quickly, in the modern fashion).  These are interspersed with other items: he shows his virtuosic violinistic skills on both a novelty set of vaudeville-type tunes and a blistering set of reels from Quebec, whilst his sensitivity is demonstrated in duetting with Ronan Browne’s pipes on a nicely-paced pair of jigs and a gorgeous slow air (which contains just the right amount of controlled wildness – if you see what I mean!).  In between are a few tracks of what I can only describe as easy-listening – the sort of relaxed jazz that people like Darol Angar were producing in the ‘70s jazz-bluegrass scene.  Very pleasant but I feel they sit uneasily with the content of the rest of the disc.  As for the rest of the tracks, there is excellent and imaginative support from guitarists Tony Byrne and Shane McGowan, whilst interesting tonal variety is achieved by the appearance of some excellent flute, button accordion and cello playing.  Added to this is some unusual and interesting repertoire, all despatched with consummate skill and feel.

The slightly dry recording acoustic helps to point up the strong fingerwork and explosive rhythmic ornamentation of a very fine performer indeed.

Paul Burgess

Secure On-line mailorder service
Buy this CD online from The Listening Post
The Listening Post is the CD mailorder service of The Living Tradition magazine.
This album was reviewed in Issue 73 of The Living Tradition magazine.