Dirty Linen - p.90
"A strong and lively set of music form four of Ireland's best....It's a collection to be savored."
Jim Murray/Frankie Gavin/Michael McGoldrick/Sharon Shannon: Sharon Shannon; Jim Murray (guitar, nylon-string guitar); Michael McGoldrick (whistle); Frankie Gavin.
Personnel: Sharon Shannon (accordion); Michael McGoldrick (whistling, flute); Mary Shannon (banjo); Frankie Gavin (fiddle); John Joe Kelly (bodhran); James MacKintosh (percussion).
Additional personnel: Tony Molloy (bass instrument); James MacKintosh, Mary Shannon, John Joe Kelly.
Audio Mixer: Tim Martin.
Recording information: Daisy's Cottage, Co Galway, Ireland (08/2004-01/2005); Pulse Studios, Dublin, Ireland (08/2004-01/2005).
With an album by four performers named Shannon, Gavin, McGoldrick, and Murray, it shouldn't be terribly surprising that Tunes leans toward Celtic music. What is surprising is that each of these performers would be quite capable on his or her own, but as a quartet, together they offer an enticing blend of traditional music. For all of the talent, however, Tunes is a tastefully low-key affair, with the artists, if you will, allowing the jigs and reels to take center stage. The arrangements -- accordion, fiddles, flutes, and guitars -- are quietly integrated, and the individual instrumentals -- both new and old -- weave together as if of one piece. Most of the pieces, like "Billy in the Low Ground," are connected to others (in this case, "Lost Girl"), allowing the material to shift and grow as it progresses, and most run between three and four minutes, not unlike the music one might hear at a country dance. In the end, the album's title perfectly captures the simplicity of this project as well as its success. With great talent and no pretense, Shannon, Gavin, McGoldrick, and Murray have created the kind of music that Celtic folk used to make on their back porches. ~ Ronnie D. Lankford, Jr.