Print this Page

World Music CD Reviews Celtic & Irish

PADDY KEENAN and TOMMY O’SULLIVAN

By ROB WEIR
Published May 30, 2005

The Long Grazing Acre
Compass

In the annals of Irish music, few names are as revered as that of Uillean piper Paddy Keenan, a driving force in the legendary Bothy Band. His new collaboration with guitarist/vocalist Tommy O’Sullivan shows he’s not about to rest on past laurels. From the opening pips and sustained notes of the jig “The Lost and Found” to the more-strident closing strains of the hornpipe “Dinny O’Brien’s,” Keenan demonstrates astonishing range and command. He’s also versatile: his low tin whistle rendition of “Mary Bravender” has the haunting quality of Native American music, and he is equally adroit on flute. Also a master of guises, his vocals on “The Maids Of Culmore” are evocative of Andy Irvine. His cover of Sandy Denny’s “Stranger to Himself,” a hoppy, strong-pulse marvel, and those on “Killing The Blues” are appropriately gritty. The synergy between these two stellar artists makes for a release that will long graze on your CD player.