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JOHN CARTY & BRIAN McGRATH "The Cat that Ate the Cradle"
Clo-Iar Chonnachta CICD099

Traditional music doesn't come much purer than this. Here we have the unadulterated banjo of John Carty bringing the old tunes to life. Apart from two of Carty's own compositions, everything here is familiar but much of it is given a new turn.

John Carty's playing is not in the style or class of Gerry O'Connor, but it is a very good example of the older Irish tenor banjo style. He plays about two dozen classic tunes here in forty minutes, covering everything from "Strike the Gay Harp" to "Trans-Roscommon Airways". He also play fiddle on a couple of tracks, to great effect.

What makes this album outstanding for me is actually the piano-playing of Brian McGrath. It's only if you listen carefully that you hear how much work the piano is doing. Brian clearly knows the tunes and suits his accompaniment to each one, and he also complements the banjo superbly. Being a banjo-player himself no doubt helps.

Alex Monaghan

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This album was reviewed in Issue 12 of The Living Tradition magazine.