Pay The Reckoning: Reviews

Site Contents

Mick Mulvey (with Pete Quinn) – Bridging The Gap (Coolathuma 002, 2009)

First off, an admission. I have had the pleasure on many occasions of having a few tunes in sessions in London with Mick. In particular, for many months until the pub sadly closed, Mick was one of the stalwarts of The White Horse session in Bethnal Green. A down-at-heel boozer in an even more down-at-heel setting, “The Horse” was nevertheless a powerhouse of music, crack and early-morning shenanigans. I got to know Mick very quickly and it was always a delight to turn up to The Horse to find him ensconced in the corner, belting away at a set of dynamite tunes.

So, those of us who have the pleasure of knowing Mick personally will agree that he is one of nature's gentlemen; a sincere, genuine “solid man”, completely lacking the self-preening swagger that sometimes afflicts players of his remarkable talent. And likewise his new CD is sincere and genuine, a solid piece of work, completely grounded in the tradition and therefore absolutely timeless. The approach throughout is laidback and joyful; Mick takes time to explore the tunes, to hunt out variations and to give due attention to what happens “between the notes”.

As a result, this is an album which will demand – and which will repay in full – many, many listenings.

For the first time Mick has recorded a number of his own compositions. They fit perfectly with the traditional tunes on the CD and I can award no higher compliment than to say that already the tunes sound as if they have been polished and rounded by the playing of generations of Irish musicians. I laughed out loud when I read how he came to name “Tom Mulvey's Blessing” in honour of one of his dad's foibles. Knowing Tom as I do (like his son, he is a gentleman), the description immediately rang true. I'll leave it to you to buy the CD and read the full story!

Mick has assembled a supporting cast of quality musicians. Pete Quinn is well-known as keyboard player with The London Lasses. Jackie Wynne plays guitar, Dermot Burke and Mossie Martin play fiddle and Liam Cryan adds some deft bodhran.

A fine follow-up to “Within A Mile Of Jamesown”, “Bridging The Gap” once again captures the very essence of Mick's music. We're already looking forward to number three!

For more information and, please go to

Track listing:

The Mohill Reel/Clogger's Quilt

Devero The Dancer/Connie The Soldier

The Quarrelsome Piper/Lad O'Beirne's

An Cailin Rua

The Swallow's Nest/Ormonde Sound

Cook In The Kitchen/The Thatch/The Drumshanbo Tramp

The Drumlion Loop*/Tom Mulvey's Blessing*

Rooney's/Statia Donnelly's

Thomond Bridge/The Jamestown Hangover*

Spike Island Lasses/Yellow Tinker/Crosses Of Annagh

Casey's Pig/McDermott's/Memories Of Sligo

Tripping Up The Stairs/Father O'Flynn's

Sinead's Rant*/Dr Reg's Visit*

Galway Bay/The Smell Of The Bog

Crowley's/The Montua/Lucy Campbell's

(Tunes marked *, composed by Mick Mulvey)

Back to reviews homepage

February 2010


Irish Traditional Music Reviews

An Maindilin - recordings of Irish Traditional Music on mandolin

Music Blog

Copyright, Aidan Crossey 2010