Donal Clancy,
Close to Home
(Compass, 2006)

Donal Clancy has been surrounded by music all his life. His father is Liam Clancy of the Clancy Brothers and Makem & Clancy, and Donal himself has been involved with the groups Danu and Solas, among others. Close to Home is his first solo CD.

The 12 tracks on this CD are composed of the sort of traditional tunes that Clancy grew up with. The arrangements are all his own, but played here in a rather unexpected manner -- on an acoustic guitar. That's all you get here, just Clancy and his guitar, and these marvelous traditional tunes. And without the distraction of voices or other instruments, we get to hear just what an accomplished guitarist Clancy is.

The liner notes provide information on every track: where Clancy learned the tunes (most tracks are sets, rather than single pieces) or where he first heard each one.

If your only exposure to traditional Irish music has been the raucous Celtic rock-style groups, then you might find Close to Home a bit boring and flat. But if you're a fan of traditional tunes played in a traditional manner, or even of plain, old-fashioned good guitar playing, then Close to Home should appeal to you.

by Laurie Thayer
24 February 2007

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