Renowned whistle player and uilleann piper Brian Hughes and fiddler Dave Sheridan joined forces to create something new and traditional at the same time. However Long the Day is the result of their collaboration, an instrumental album of mostly Irish tunes with some other compositions from around the British Isles, Scandinavia and Galicia.
From the opening set of jigs to the captivating medley of reels Stone of Destiny / The Rainy Day / Paddy Cronin’s that closes the first half of the album, or the dynamic set of polkas The Sparrow / Maurice O’Keefe’s / Jim Corcoran’s to the selection of hornpipes May Bàn / In Good Tenor / The Frisco, However Long The Day flows sinuously through different sources and varied keys and modes, but it is always steady and uplifting.
Other highlights include three tracks, each one centred on only one of the two musicians, namely the solo fiddle reels combination The Quiet House / Jerry McMahon’s / The Lass Among the Etnochs, the solo whistle jig and reel medley The Kerfunken Jig / Hanley’s Tweed, and the haunting uilleann pipes slow air An Carraioch Mallaithe.
The way in which they layer their sound is an absolute pleasure to listen to. Not only are these fourteen tracks all a perfect example of how old compositions can be played today in a fashionable way without compromising their traditional flavour, but the choice of the tunes and the musicality with which they are created and mixed proves to be a storming success.
A well-calibrated dose of ornamentation makes everything more tasteful, demonstrating the duo’s dexterity without exceeding, enhancing the melodic features of the tunes. The warm atmosphere of the recordings, the extremely precise and yet relaxed playing, the synergy between these two experienced and gifted artists all help forge a new milestone in their career.
Hopefully it will be not their only work together as a duo.Michele Mele
Released on April 8 2022.
1. Jigs: An Buachaill Dreoite / The Maid in the Meadow / The Wheels of the World
2. Hornpipe/Reels: Shanahan’s / Eanach Mhic Coilin / The Leitrim Thrush
3. Air/Jigs: A Man for a’ That / The Road to Banff / Muineira de Rengos
4. Reels (fiddle solo): The Quiet House / Jerry McMahon’s / The Lass among the Etnochs
5. Jigs: Jimmy Neary’s / A Curious Dennis Murphy Jig / Tumble the Tinker
6. Polkas: The Sparrow / Maurice O’Keefe’s / Jim Corcoran’s
7. Reels: Stone of Destiny / The Rainy Day / Paddy Cronin’s
8. Hornpipes: May Bàn / In Good Tenor / The Frisco
9. Jig/Reel (whistle solo): The Kerfunken Jig / Hanley’s Tweed
10. Waltz/Slipjigs: Aursundvals 2 / The Piper’s Apron / The Night Before Poor Larry Was Stretched
11. Reels: Old Leitrim / The Fair Haired Boy / I’m Waiting for You
12. Slow Air (pipes solo): An Carraioch Mallaithe
13. Jigs: The Sunny Hills of Beara / Peaitì O’Leary’s / The Cliffs of Moher
14. Reels: Palmer’s Gate / The Honeymoon / Support from America no. 1