Mary Rafferty,
Hand Me Downs
(Donal Clancy, 2002)

This is the solo debut album from a young lady steeped in the traditions and the love of Irish music. Her virtuosity on such diverse instruments as flute, tin whistle and accordion must be experienced to be believed. She is probably known to many people through her membership with that female supergroup of folk and traditional music, Cherish the Ladies.

As in all the best of traditional albums, this contains tunes from the mists of time mixed gloriously with newer compositions. Many of the tracks were learned from her father Mike, who actually plays on some of the tunes.

Here you will find gems of Irish music from the jig "Martin Mulvihill's" to a reel written by Wexford man Phil Murphy, best known as a harmonica player, "The Trip to Cullenstown." I particularly enjoyed "I'll Mend your Pots & Kettles O," which is listed as an air and is a jewel in a crown of precious tracks.

Here are the reels and jigs that generations have enjoyed in concert, cil and front room made available to a new audience. The CD title is evocative but needs qualification. If it were clothes we referred to they would be less than welcome, but as tunes handed from generation to generation they are to be treasured.

Another interesting generational link on this CD is the presence of Donal Clancy, the son of Liam Clancy and nephew of Robbie O'Connell continuing the line of music.

- Rambles
written by Nicky Rossiter
published 26 April 2003

[ visit the artist's website ]