1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 30 September 2011
The first time that I heard a slide guitar accompanying Irish traditional music (albeit 1 track) was on an Arlo Guthrie Album released about 38 years ago. The album name escapes me, but the players on the track "Farrel O'Gara" were Kevin Burke and Ry Cooder. It was, probably still is a good track and I haven't heard it since, and that is where I have a problem with "Six Days In Down". (But I suppose times change and new approaches have to be at least, explored.)
I have been and still am, an admirer of Bob Brozman,from his days with Robert Crumb and the Cheap Suit Serenaders, through to his works with Ledward Kapaana etc. He is a hard working musician, no doubt about that and a walking musical historian too.
John Mc Sherry, likewise, is a great musician, from the deep vein of Irish tradition. He was especially superb on Donal Lunny's "Coolfin". Again, Donal O'Connor is another example of peerless talent.
Personally I just don't think that the Hawaiian lap steel or any slide guitar goes well with Irish traditional music; certainly not on long hauls like this offering.
I do not think that ragtime rhythms go well with the pipes, and I find the track "Portaferry Swing" irritating. "Beer Belly Dancing" is entertaining, as is the very decent version of "Hardiman The Fiddler".
That said, I have great respect for the musicians, and I understand that a tight recording schedule was a major factor here, but I could be wrong. I would of liked to have heard a bit of banjo from Bob Brozman, as we all know he is very capable player. So, to end it all, I think it could have been a lot better.
(I originally intended to give it 3 stars, but they are nice fellas.)
on 17 December 2013
I have just bought the MP3 version of the album and have listened to it three times. I find it up to the excellent standard of the other albums by At First Light and John McSherry/Donal O'Connor, though refreshingly different. I agree that some of the arrangements are a little quirky but no less enjoyable for that. I find the 2 songs rather weak and "Portaferry Swing" is my least favourite instrumental track.
However, I don't think that anyone who appreciates the virtuoso playing of John McSherry and Donal O'Connor will be disappointed with this album overall. Indeed why should such versatile musicians always be obliged to play strictly traditional style when clearly they have a lot more to offer?
1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 10 February 2012
New Yorker Bob Brozman, travelling slide-guitarist extraordinaire, has made many recordings with musicians from around the world playing all sorts of styles. Here he does it again in Ireland with a small band of select musicians and the results are very pleasing.
On Six Days In Down Brozman, armed with his vast array of guitars teamed up for the first time with fiddler Donal O'Connor and uillean piper and whistle player John McSherry (you may remember their fine album At First Light) in an intense six-day recording session in Downpatrick that averaged 15 hours per day. The result was a varied selection of jigs, reels, airs and polkas. As well there are two Gaelic songs beautifully presented by the gorgeous voice of Stephanie Makem.
Brozman's knowledge of World Music must be extraordinary, but aside from his amazing technical skill, he has the ability to blend in with his chosen counterparts while adding his own special stamp to proceedings. Sometimes his input can be a little quirky, introducing cross-rhythms or modal motifs that traditional musicians may not have dared. But there is clearly great mutual respect at play here and Brozman's injection of wit and colour into proceedings by and large works a treat. The polished playing of the Irishmen is creatively rounded off by Brozman's energy and sparkle, and the occasional foot percussion gives the sound a nice bottom end. Considering there are only three players, the arrangements seem just right so the sound is more than the sum of its parts. The recorded sound is very ambient and life-like.
From the plaintively Celtic Roise Na bhFonn (Tuneful Rose) to the jazzy Portaferry Swing and worldly Beer Belly Dancing this is invigorating all the way. The quirky moments however may not be to everyone's taste.
There are plans for these musicians to do some more work together. That is something to look forward to.