Artist: Tom McElvogue & Paddy Kerr
Album: The Long Hard Road
Label: TMc Productions
Tracks: 14

Flautist Tom McElvogue is a name highly regarded by many musicians on the Celtic ‘session’ circuit. His tunes are often credited by those that should know better as traditional but in a back-handed sort of way what finer compliment can a musician have than for your own melodies to be soaked up sponge-like into the tradition. Come to think of it the same thing happened to Hughie Jones “Ellen Vannin Tragedy” many years before.

On this CD, Tom is accompanied by Paddy Kerr’s precise, but never boring bouzouki, guitar and bodhran where required and it’s really refreshing to hear the full beauty of the melody unadorned by flashy displays of decoration.

This recording proves to be a real joy as the emphasis is placed on sets of tunes which wouldn’t be out of place performed at an Irish Step Dance class bringing back fond memories of my own experiences working with accordionist James Montgomery and ‘Doctor’ Michael Moriarty who often used Tom’s tunes in their sets as well.

This is an album that perhaps non-musicians might judge too quickly as stark but personally speaking if you are looking for an articulate and artistic approach without all the bells and whistles I’d say you’ve come to the right place.

Peter Fyfe