I received an email a month or so ago from a young man who wanted me to give his CDs a listen. This is not an unusual occurrence as I get CDs to listen to all the time, some I tell you about and some I let slip into blessed oblivion. This time I just have to tell you about what this young man sent me. To start with, he stated that he was friends with the band “Socks in the Frying Pan”, a simply stupendous new band from Ireland that has been at the top of my top ten list for a couple of months now, so I figured he must know good music, boy did I get that one right!
Enda Seery is the young man’s name and he is a tin whistle artist the like of which I’ve seldom heard. Now I’ve heard a lot of great tin whistle players but Enda’s style is different, there’s a bubbly quality to his playing that I find fascinating. He has two CDs out, the first “The Winding Clock” is all instrumental with the emphasis on his tin whistle and I love it. It runs for a delightful 50.44 minutes, good measure for your money. This fellow can work on a hornpipe so that even I want to get up and dance. We haven’t had a whistle CD in awhile that shows the versatility of the whistle but this one does, in spades.
Enda’s second CD is called “Peace of the Countryside”, newly released this year and showing even more talent in this young man. Again, the whistle is featured but now he’s trying his hand at a couple songs and do they work? You betcha! Okay, so the boy can play and the boy can sing and again he gives good measure, the CD runs 57minutes 55 seconds. In addition to Enda Seery’s considerable talent, there’s a young man, John Bryne, who plays guitar on both CDs and does so admirably. I sincerely hope that we shall see much more of the talents of these young men and soon.
Compass Records weighs in this month with a CD that will certainly interest any guitar fanciers out there. Tony McManus, probably the finest fingerstyle guitar player to draw breath,totally blew me away with his last CD and I thought, erroneously, it can’t get better than this. Brother was I wrong! A little back story…a friend of Tony’s challenged him to learn Bach’s E major Prelude for solo violin on the guitar, he did and decided to tackle more classical pieces. It took him seven months to learn the Bach Chaconne in D minor. Obviously, Tony McManus is a player who likes to challenge himself and the results of his expedition into classical music are to be found on his latest CD, “Mysterious Boundaries”. This is another of those CDs that, the first time you listen to it, you stand there with your mouth hanging open because you ain’t never heard the like of it before. I was impressed with Tony playing bagpipe tunes on guitar but he was just warming up. I have to admit that I’ve not appreciated classical music in the past but Tony McManus just might make me see the error of my ways.