Those nice folks at Sing Out! magazine have just published another great review of ‘Contemporary Traditional Irish Guitar’. Thanks to Tom Druckenmiller for his great taste in music! Sing Out! is a great american publication dealing exclusively with folk and roots music, check out their website
‘This is a collection of traditional and contemporary Irish tunes played on the nylon-strung guitar. The premise was to record only tunes which were written in the past 50 years. I guess this disqualifies them as traditional tunes in the strictest sense, but why quibble with music this beautiful. There is little information about Dave Flynn on the CD insert, but by simply listening to his light and sensitive touch, it becomes clear that he is a very fine player who has thorough understanding of the subtle nuances  of Irish fiddle tunes. He states that he uses the various alternate tunings, achieving a bright and percussive sound with the use of a capo. A majority of the tunes were written by Paddy Fahey. Dave used a master’s thesis on Fahey’s music as a source along with recordings by Martin Hayes and Dennis Cahill and Kevin and Seamus Glackin, among others, for the other selections. The CD opens with “Paddy Fahey’s Reels No. 20 & 6.” It would be easy to typecast this music as “new age” upon casual listening, but Dave has a subtle pulse and grace with his right hand, and the resultant arrangement is very lovely. “The Kinnycally Jig,” from Tommy Peoples, follows with its rich chord melody and deliberate tempo. The melody is played over an insistent bass ostinato. Dave also includes one of his own pieces. The keystone of the recording is “The Mahatma of the Glen,” three movements – slow air, slide and slip-slide – from an extended seven-section piece called “Music for the Departed,” written for Martin Hayes, Dennis Cahill and Ioana Petcu-Colan. With occasional dissonance in the slow air, it is less traditional in sound than the other compositions on the CD. Dave Flynn is a masterful guitarist. If your Celtic music taste is more contemporary, this CD will be a wonderful listening experience.’ — Tom Druckenmiller