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Jamie Smith, Steve Byrnes, Liam O'Sullivan – Smith, Byrnes, O'Sullivan (JS003, 2009)

A glance at the track listing and sleeve notes gives a fair indication of what to expect. The majority of the tunes are recent compositions – mainly by Jamie Smith. The songs are all recent compositions. Credits are given to musicians from outside the traditional arena – Kieran Brady, Oscar Cainer and Richard Thompson.

So, despite the fact that Smith (fiddle, whistle), Byrnes (guitar, drums, vocals) and O'Sullivan (box) are well-known and well-respected “names” on the traditional music scene, this isn't the pure drop and doesn't pretend to be for one moment. But neither is it some ill-conceived attempt at fusing the music uneasily with other forms. Instead it's genuine, powerful music – written and played with absolute regard to the traditions from which it comes – driven, in places, by skilful and sympathetic “contemporary” backing.

Support comes from Oscar Cainer (double bass, banjo, backing vocals), Anthony Davis (keyboards) and Dan Griffin (bodhran, backing vocals).

For more information, please go to

Track listing:

Exotic Snowball (Vickie's World/The Exotic Snowball)

Jigs (Trad*/O'Dea's/The Inis Bearachain Jig)

Riding Solo

Baked (The Humours of Swanlinbar/The Baker)

Two Sides (There's Two Sides To Every Story/Colin Farrell's Jig)

Down Where The Drunkards Roll

B Minor Set (Breton Gavotte/Muireann's/Beat Down)

Nobody Knows But You

Reels (Clare Toast/A Touch Of The East/Welcome Back Prosol)

Dreaming Of West Kerry

(* Actually, Junior Crehan's composition, “An Luathraidan”. Do I get a prize?)

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February 2010


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