Sean O'Driscoll
& Larry Egan,
The Kitchen Recordings
(Clo Iar-Chonnachta, 2003)

This album provides exactly what it says in the title. It was recorded in Sean O'Driscoll's kitchen and, thanks to the advances in technology, it is note-perfect as it captures an informal atmosphere where two people who love the music let rip.

O'Driscoll is from Blarney in County Cork and, having played since his early teens, is an accomplished musician who has played with some of the greats of traditional music such as Liz Carroll and Martin Hayes. He has two solo albums under his belt.

Larry Egan hails from County Wicklow, the garden of Ireland, and started playing at the age of 10. He has won numerous awards and regularly teaches at workshops and festivals.

The album is a joy to listen to as you can almost feel the intimacy of a session in a private house, where Irish traditional music thrives and feels most at home. The lads give us a beautiful mixture of reels, hornpipes, jigs and flings over the 13 tracks. These range from the traditional to new compositions, including the wonderfully titled "Nettles in the Soup."

My favourite track is also a new composition, a slow air titled "An Goban Saor." It was inspired by a trip to Crete and you can almost feel the hot sun on blue water. The tune is included in a set with "The Muskerry Tram," commemorating a train that ran from Cork to Coachford from 1887 to 1934, and "Garret Barry's," in memory of Garrett who died of cancer of the tongue in a workhouse in County Clare. It is the combination of the music and the fascinating background notes that make this such an important CD.

It is not an album that will spawn a single. But this is a package of great music played with verve but also great feeling.

- Rambles
written by Nicky Rossiter
published 5 June 2004

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