Outside the Box
Compass 7-4488-2

Listen hard. Billy McComiskey pushes both literal and metaphorical accordion buttons. On the surface we hear the usual jigs, reels, and hornpipes, but McComiskey is about depth, not surfaces. The reel “Keogh’s” doesn’t just move, it gallops to John Doyle’s bold and robust guitar. The talent assembled on this album—including Doyle, Liz Carroll, Joanie Madden, Mick Moloney, and Athena Tergis—is so rich that many of the tunes soar to Bothy Band-like heights. Listen closely to “The Humours of Bandon” in which McComiskey maintains a sessions-like background role for about two-thirds of the set before leaping to the fore and blasting aside the piano, fiddles, banjo, and other instruments in his mighty wake. And then there’s the “Frances Keegan” reels that grabs you and won’t let go. The album also has a lullaby and a waltz, which you might need to bring down your blood pressure. McComiskey plays with a robust muscularity that lays low all who associate accordion music with Polkaville.


Shannon said...

The world needs more robust muscularity!

Anonymous said...

I had assumed there was quite enough robust muscularity in the world today. That's why we're in a mess.