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Donal Clancy

Close to Home: A Collection of Irish Tunes Played on Acoustic Guitar

(Compass; US: 26 Sep 2006; UK: Available as import)

Donal follows in the family tradition (the son of Liam) of performing marvelous acoustic Irish folk music. This Clancy plays acoustic guitar, an instrument not heralded much in the Celtic tradition like fiddles, tin whistles, and accordions are, with meticulous beauty. He presents slow airs, jigs, hornpipes and the like with flair, grace and style. He interprets the tunes as if they were written for the guitar through soulful fingering and inspired arrangements. Donal chose an interesting selection of traditional songs that includes classics like “Old Hag You Have Killed Me” and similarly rooted material. Each of the 12 tracks reveals the guitarist’s considerable talents and his skillful, sinuous style of hitting the strings. Clancy goes completely solo throughout the album with one notable exception. About halfway into the disc, in the middle of a song, David Power joins in on drones. This breaks up the flow on an otherwise remarkably fluid record.

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Steven Horowitz has a Ph.D. in American Studies from the University of Iowa, where he continues to teach a three-credit online course on "Rock and Roll in America". He has written for many different popular and academic publications including American Music, Paste and the Icon. Horowitz is a firm believer in Paul Goodman's neofunctional perspective on culture and that Sam Cooke was right, a change is gonna come.


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