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World Music CD Reviews Celtic & Irish

Donal Clancy

By Marty Lipp
Published April 27, 2007

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Although the guitar is not a traditional Irish folk instrument, several excellent players have shown it can be a terrific asset to a small group. Now one of these players, Donal Clancy, who’s made his mark with groups such as Danu, Solas and Cherish The Ladies, has released an album that reconfigures traditional jigs and reels for acoustic guitar. Clancy’s melodic, fluid playing makes other instruments seem pretty superfluous. While the tunes may not sound like traditional Irish music, with tin whistles, fiddles and accordions notably absent, the spirit is certainly there. The uptempo numbers are fun and provide a frequently breathtaking showcase for Clancy’s fleet fingers, but he also does well by slower tunes, including one originally written for the Irish harp. Simply put, the guy can play. His fingers dance lovingly up and down the fretboard, making for an intimate, sweet take on a beautiful collection of tunes.