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GARRY WALSH - Uncovered Ossian Publications OSSCD134

Of Cork and Louth parentage, fluter Garry Walsh learnt his music from the Irish exiles around Manchester. He's now returned to Ireland with a store of tunes which have been forgotten by the auld sod. Names such as Narrow West Street and Under the Tholsel refer to Drogheda landmarks, while Back to Skibbereen and Around Lough Ine are from the other end of the country. All twelve tracks here are played in a fine style which manages to be both fluid and rhythmic.

Among the jigs and reels, Garry has slid in a couple of hornpipes and an enchanting slow air. There are also three Walsh family compositions here. Garry's grandfather wrote Eileen Fahy's Reel, a lovely flowing tune. Garry himself wrote The Travelling Lamp, and his daughter wrote Ciara's Reel. There are so many new tunes here that it's hard to absorb them all, but my current favourites are Casey's Jig, deep and meaningful on the Bb flute, and Robbie's Welcome on the high whistle.

Garry's flutes and whistles are joined by Dave Hennessy on button box, Clare Fitzpatrick on fiddle, Johnny Neville on guitars, Colm Murphy on bodhrán, and Ilsa De Ziah on cello. The overall sound is rich and varied, complementing the powerful earthy tones and high floating sweetness from Garry. Uncovered may be a little short on quantity at 37 minutes, but its quality is never in doubt. An excellent debut, with more to come I'd say.

Alex Monaghan

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This album was reviewed in Issue 59 of The Living Tradition magazine.