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BRENDAN BEGLEY "We Won't Go Home 'Til Morning" Kells Music KM9510

Kerry man Brendan wasn't known to me until I was sent this CD to review, but I did know a bit about his brother Seamus. No cause for sibling rivalry here, however, as Brendan's playing of melodeon and double-row accordion is outstanding, and he sings a treat as well.

Joining him on this collection are the likes of Frankie Lane, Brid Cranitch, Stephen Cooney, Dermot McLaughlin, Kevin Conneff and Liam O'Flynn, giving some indication of his musical connections, especially when he reminds us that they were not chosen alone for their greatness, but because they are friends - with friends like that, you can be sure of fine music!

The quality of the guests in no way outshines your man, however, as he powers his way through a carefully-chosen collection of reels, hornpipes, polkas, slides and jigs with a finesse and feeling for the music that grabs you right from the start of the opening "An Droichead" and doesn't let go of you until the last note of "President Garfield'". In between, the music ranges all over Ireland and there are songs as well, including a beautiful arrangement of "Cailin na Gruaige Doinne".

This is a box player whose love and knowledge of his music shines clearly through the material, and I can easily imagine that a session in which he was playing would certainly be one where everyone would agree "we won't go home 'til morning". Strongly recommended.

Gordon Potter

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This album was reviewed in Issue 23 of The Living Tradition magazine.