491

Davey Graham / Dave Evans / Duck Baker / Dan Ar Bras: Irish Reels, Jigs, Hornpipes, and Airs

David Rickert By

Sign in to view read count
Davey Graham / Dave Evans / Duck Baker / Dan Ar Bras: Irish Reels, Jigs, Hornpipes, and Airs Irish Reels, Jigs, Hornpipes, and Airs is the rare acoustic guitar CD that isn't dominated by Leo Kottke-style wizardry or a John Fahey influence. It's also a rare example of Irish music played traditionally and not with the ethereal trappings of new age music. It's perhaps no surprise, then, that it's necessary to travel back to 1979 to find an album filled with modest pleasures such as this one.

Only two of the four guitarists on this album (released on CD for the first time on Stefan Grossman's Guitar Workshop label) will be household names to even the most eclectic collector. Davey Graham was an infamous member of the British folk scene of the '60s, releasing some oddball experimental records along with some expertly played traditional music. Duck Baker may be familiar to jazz fans as a player of finger-style jazz, in particular a CD's worth of Herbie Nichols tunes. The other two, Dave Evans, and Dan Ar Bras, are not as well known, but contribute some lovely interpretations of these traditional Irish melodies.

All of the songs are beautiful and timeless, made all the more appealing by the simple setting. Baker's medley of "The West Wind" and "The Blackbird" is particularly good, as is Evans' "The Donegal Pilgrim." Graham's "Lagan Love" is particularly haunting, while Evans' "Shebeg and Shemor" is beautiful. It's pointless to pick a standout on an album that's clearly designed to be a complete listening experience in itself, and while each guitarist has their own style, all of the renditions flow together beautifully (it would have been interesting to hear each of the four tackle the same tune in their own fashion to see what would happen). There is nothing like finger-style guitar to capture the pastoral and the idyllic simple pleasures of a life on the Isles. Simply put, this is one of the best collections of Irish guitar music available, and it's terrific to have it back in circulation.

As an added bonus, the CD features PDF files of tablature of many of the songs. For a pretty decent fingerpicker they are easy to play well, and there are hours of fun to be had working through them.

Track Listing: The Galtee Hunt; Medley: The West Wind/The Blackbird; The Sunny Bank; Lagan Love; Medley: Old Hag You Have Killed Me/The Hag With Money; Hewlett; Irish Washerwoman; Leaving Brittany Going To Ireland; The March of the King of Laois; Shebeg an Shemor; The Fisherman's Lilt; Medley: Carrickfergus/The Water is Wide; Miss McLeod's Reel; The Donegal Pilgrim; Boys From Blue Hill; Mawgan Magan.

Personnel: Dave Evans: guitar; Davey Graham: guitar; Duck Baker: guitar; Dan Ar Bras: guitar.

Year Released: 2009 | Record Label: Stefan Grossman's Guitar Workshop | Style: Beyond Jazz


Shop

More Articles

Read Dreamsville CD/LP/Track Review Dreamsville
by Jack Bowers
Published: April 26, 2017
Read April CD/LP/Track Review April
by Jerome Wilson
Published: April 26, 2017
Read Adam's Apple CD/LP/Track Review Adam's Apple
by Greg Simmons
Published: April 26, 2017
Read Small World CD/LP/Track Review Small World
by Edward Blanco
Published: April 26, 2017
Read High Time CD/LP/Track Review High Time
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: April 26, 2017
Read Rags And Roots CD/LP/Track Review Rags And Roots
by James Nadal
Published: April 25, 2017
Read "Steam In The Casa" CD/LP/Track Review Steam In The Casa
by Nicola Negri
Published: August 15, 2016
Read "The Wild" CD/LP/Track Review The Wild
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: February 26, 2017
Read "Impulsive Illuminations" CD/LP/Track Review Impulsive Illuminations
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: October 28, 2016
Read "Illuminations" CD/LP/Track Review Illuminations
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: August 24, 2016
Read "Blow + Beat" CD/LP/Track Review Blow + Beat
by Karl Ackermann
Published: April 8, 2017
Read "Beatbox Sax" CD/LP/Track Review Beatbox Sax
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: September 18, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM RECORDS | BUY NOW  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!