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Awesome Bodhran and excellent traditional Irish Music!
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Failte! While the second Arcady album is my favorite (6 stars out of 5), there is much to commend about the first album (5 stars out of 5). If you are interested in the best of the best of the best Irish drum (bodhran)on CD, it is required listening to hear Johnny McDonagh with a full bass stereo. Johnny plays a drum with a thick goatskin head, open back and full bass voice. On this album, try "Hennessey's", "Jack Daly's Reels," "Tripping Down the Stairs," and the "Breton Reels." Even with the Hauntingly Brittanny Gaelic "Trois Matelots Du Port-de-Brest," the percussion adds enormously to the emotional tone. Tommy Hayes calls Johnny the best traditional Bodhran player. His meaning is triplets, backslides and other techniques from a basic Kerry Style (holding the beater like a pencil). I would have to agree with the stipulation that Tommy invented his own non traditional style that is equally excellent. I suppose the unique quality to Johnny's work is how smooth it is in perfect synch with the music. He does not show off. This work can be added to his early work with Mary Bergin and Eileen Ivers as exceptional bodhran gems. Ceol de Eire Go Brach!"