If contemporary Irish instrumental music had an all-star team, this might be it. With Sharon Shannon on accordion, Frankie Gavin (former De Dannan frontman) on fiddle, Michael McGoldrick (Capercaillie, Flook) on flute, and Jim Murray on guitar, it’s no wonder this CD is simply titled Tunes. "Already there’s a real group dynamic bringing variety of tempo and character to the tunes," the Glasgow Herald said of the quartet’s performance at the Celtic Connections Festival in January 2005.
While this collection of twelve instrumentals relies heavily on Irish traditional material, Shannon and company also tackle traditional Asturian tunes, contemporary Scottish tunes, and four original compositions - one each from Shannon, Gavin, McGoldrick and Murray. Tunes proves that, even in the contemporary Irish scene, four versatile musicians who’ve mastered both their instruments and the genre, need neither pyrotechnics nor vocals.
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