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JOE DERRANE Give Us Another Green Linnet GLCD 1149

Joe Derrane is a ledgendery player of the button accordion. The cover of this CD features his current instrument, a spectacular two row, four bass, Baldoni & Bartoli. This is tuned D/C* and has DERRANE picked out, in contrast to the black body, in white rhinestones. Coloured rhinestones are also used, set in the keyboard to form the Stars and Stripes, an Celtic harp and the Tricolour.

A first generation Irish American, Joe Derrane started melodeon early on in life. By the age of ten he was receiving instruction from Jerry O'Brien and at sixteen moved on to a two row, tuned D/C*. This is Joe Derrane's delayed return to recording work, having recorded for Copley Records around 1936/37, when he was seventeen, and also recording several accordion duets with his former tutor Jerry O'Brien during 1948/49, all of which were released, to great acclaim, on ten inch 78's. On this four inch CD, Joe Derrane is joined by another first generation Irish American with an inpecable musical background, Felix Dolan.

The material is gleaned from various sources, players and aquaitences, with most tunes traceable back to O'Neill's Music of Ireland, including "Knocknagow", "Shearing the Sheep", "The Contradiion" and "The Green Mountain", the last, known better to Joe Derrane as "Little Juddy". All the sets are either jigs, reels or hornpipes with the exception of "Pastiche for Anne", a self devised piece ranging through Scottish, French-Canadian, Latin and Jazz styles. The playing, like the coulourfull Baldoni & Bartoli, is full of decoration and embellishment. Variations, rolls and triplets are all brought into play, generaly working best on the reels and hornpipes, and are set off by complementary, good humoured piano playing from Felix Dolan.

Fourty years on and Joe Derrane can still demonstraight his vigorous playing style. On the last track, he tantalises us by playing the first bars of the opening reel, "The Green Fields of America" at a slower pace. A slow air, or two, included on this recording would have been welome. Adding some light and shade and providing us with a more complete and balanced insight to the work of Joe Derrane.

Peter Fairbairn.

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