The touchstone of the Sliabh Luachra magic is the chemistry between fiddler Cranitch and box player Murphy producing gorgeous dance music that frankly is very hard to take sitting down.
My toes were not only tapping a rhythmic beat but dancing figures while resting comfortably in the cushioned pews.
It wouldn’t take much imagination to see bodies flying around the dance floor propelled by authentic music like “Jerry’s Beaver Hat” or “Denis Murphy’s Slide” that not only captures the spirit but the heart of the music as well.
Both Cranitch and Murphy manage to circulate freely outside the state of mind that is Sliabh Luachra, turning out jigs and reels with the best of them as well. Their excellent three reel set of tunes (“Providence,” “Man of the House” and “Speed the Plough”) would have delighted any of the set dancers in Clare in their timing and liveliness.
Seasoned and well–traveled musicians like Cranitch, Murphy and O’Sullivan have a firm handle on the large and small venues and everything in between, and their enthusiasm for a special place like Newtown and hosts like the STIMS Irish Music Society (www.shamrockirishmusic.org) is genuine.
Said Murphy towards the end of the night, “The atmosphere is electric, and we hope you are getting as much out of our playing here as we are. We love this part of the world and the people who make it happen.”
Couldn’t have said it better myself.