Finally, we have it, this re-release of the brilliant 1972 recording from some of Ireland's finest traditional musicians. The musicians here read like a who's who from the early 70s in Dublin; fiddler John Kelly Jnr., son of the famous Clare-born fiddler, John Kelly Snr., fiddler Kevin Glackin, John McEvoy on flute, Mick Hand on flute, and whistle-player Seán Potts. And Seán Potts is joined here by his son Seán Óg on uilleann pipes and Nóirín Ó Donoghue on harp, among others.
Perhaps the best-known player on this CD is the renowned Seán Potts on tin whistle. The son of John Potts, a melodeon player, and the nephew of Tommy Potts, the famed fiddler, Seán fell in with Paddy Moloney in the 1950s. In time, Seán and Paddy became original members of Seán Ó Riáda's brainchild, Ceoltóirí Cualann. Ceoltóirí Cualann was later re-born into a group you may have heard of called The Chieftains in 1963.
The bright, open, and unhurried sound that Potts and Moloney helped to create with the Chieftains also shines through in this CD. With the gentle and lovely opening strings of Nóirín Ó Donoghue's harp on the first tune, soon met by the clear, high call of Seán Potts tin whistle, you can tell early on that you're in the presence of great talent.
The first set of reels, Paddy's Trip to Scotland and The Wild Irishman, is a first-rate example of what pipes and fiddle can and should sound like together. As the crisp sound of the pipes and the sweet sound of the fiddle curl and swirl together like wild Celtic knotwork, well, tá ceol draíochta ann.
Also in it is a seldom-heard Turlough O Carolan piece called Madam Maxwell. And then there are the other pieces, polkas, jigs, some Kerry slides, a few reels, and some marches. All reflect a deep understanding and love of the music, which are expressed in a vibrant, rich sound that makes the listener feel like they are sitting in a comfortable living room there with the performers, listening to the sound of magic itself, draíocht, fá lán seoil.