So it was when I was recently in Dublin and hanging around Temple Bar with my music level low. I hadn’t scored since London and neither the MP3 player nor Irish Ferries’ onboard shop’s limited stock of CDs (most of which seemed to feature Finbar Furey) could divert attention from the fact. Such was my state when I sidled into the record store and demanded that my main man not only “hit me with some music, but hit me where it hurts”.
“Try this,” he replied, casually sliding a gatefold digipak towards me, “you won’t regret it”. “But who are they?” I ventured, only to receive some instantly forgotten words about a couple of counties in return.
Thus I was introduced to the wondrous world of Tony O’Connell and Andy Morrow and their absolute snorter of a debut album recorded with the very capable hands of Arty McGlynn providing both guitar accompaniment and production. Indeed, I’d a go so far as to propose that this is a recording which will generate wonder for years to come and if you need proof, just cop an earful of the incredible slides Kiely Cotter’s and Paddy Jerry’s.
So, sifting through the notes, what can I tell you about the two musicians? Well, for certain, Andy the fiddler is a younger brother of Dervish’s Tom Morrow and comes from Leitrim. As for Tony and his concertina, I suspect he comes from Limerick, possibly Abbeyfeale or Newcastle West (but I could be completely wrong here).
Whatever the case this eponymous album is guaranteed to dispel the gloom of the cloudiest day and send you heading down the road with the broadest smile on your face. Together, and let’s face it concertina-fiddle duos are not exactly ten a penny, they (and Arty) have unleashed a wonderful recording and my fix is sorted for the moment.
My, these lads can play!
1st April, 2005
For more information visit www.musictocam.com.