Review Archive

‘An Tra`’ - - Marie Fielding, Tom Orr and Donogh Hennessy

(February 20, 2013)

There’s a promise here that instantly fulfils - ‘An Tra`’ - a project and an album reflecting a unique alliance between the fiddle of Marie Fielding, accordionist Tom Orr and guitarist Donogh Hennessy. An TraWith the help of talented guest musicians they’ve created a partnership to deliver some of the best that Irish and Scottish music has to offer. Translated ‘An Tra`’ means 'The Beach' – this collection forges musical connections that warp across land and sea, through tunes sweeping across traditional music awash with scintillating arrangements.

From the sparkling toe-tapping of ‘Tuttle’s Reels’ there’s an insistent urge to dance wound into tunes like Banjo Reels’, the strathspey ‘Glengarry’s Dirk’ escalated into a reel, and the inspired tune-triplet that is ‘Betsy Boo’. Then again, for sheer exuberance and vivacity, ‘Walkin’ With Walter’ an acknowledgment to Donogh’s dog Walter takes some beating.

The peaceful serenity within the multi-layered ‘Farewell To McCarthy’s’ reflects the quieter side of this album, as does a gently gorgeous version of ‘Raglan Road’ - made to be relished by Pauline Scanlon’s vocals. And to ensure the calm pervades, you’re beckoned to your ease as ‘Crested Hens’ wraps delicately around your ears.

There’s also the exquisite ‘An Tra` Suite’ composed by Marie, comprising three sections: ‘Calm’, ‘Awakening’ and ‘Storm’ that together take you on an incomparable, evocative voyage in music that entices, entrances and embraces. This is an album that will charm from start to finish and you can find it here:

Special guests on selected tracks across the album include Matt Griffin (guitar) Michael Herlihy (accordion) Trevor Hutchison (double bass) Dessi Kelliher (banjo) Damien Mullane (accordion) Pauline Scanlon (vocal) and Jeremy Spencer (fiddle).

Reviewer: Tim Carroll

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