In Causeway Nollaig and Arty have created a unique soundscape, seeming to encapsulate the spirit of modern Ireland. Like their first CD together "Lead the Knave" (which was awarded the Belfast Telegraph Entertainment Media and Arts Award, (E.M.A), for excellence in the field of folk music) it received great critical acclaim. Below you'll find a selection of reviews that were published in The Irish Times, Hot Press and Irish Music Magazine.
Clicking the "Buy this CD' button on the right will bring you to the Tara Music website where you can hear track excerpts.
Go to Reviews of Nollaig and Arty's live performances
Go to Reviews and Tracklisting
"Reflecting the disparate backgrounds of these two exceptionally able players, Causeway is evenly divided between up-tempo instrumental pieces with a full rock backing and more conventional, traditionally arranged tunes and songs.
Guitar player McGlynn's jazz and R&B leanings are reflected in the title track, a rollicking instrumental with guitar, fiddle and Hammon organ, laid over a propulsive rockabilly rhythm. 'Cabbage and Cale' is a Neville Brothers-style funky blues with a similar instrumental overlay - plus the addition of Brendan Power's adept harmonica playing to create a thrilling effect. A lazy JJ Cale groove permeates 'Commanche Moon', while 'Jack Palances Reel' sees McGlynn lucking his Telecaster like a demented Nashville picker - on Guinness!
Offering a complete change of pace, 'Seo Leo Tholl' is an enchanting lullaby sung by Casey and showcasing her colourful, resonant voice. Likewise with the treatment given to the popular emigration ballad 'A Stor Mo Chroi' and 'Dun Na Sead', a more atmospheric piece with a fuller orchestral effect.
The cinematic 'Rainy Summer' could easily be from a Neil Simon film soundtrack, while the closing track 'Fort of the Fairy Queen' reveals Casey's richly expressive fiddle-playing on an upliftingly dynamic and highly satisfying piece. An album of two parts and one that might upset some of the purists (if any still exist), Causeway succeeds in taking a refreshingly loose interpretation of Irish music and blending it with outside, mainly American influences. Very effectively too."
- Colm O'Hare in HOT PRESS
THE IRISH TIMES
"Nollaig Casey and Arty McGlynn between them share 40 years playing experience at the cutting edge of what might be termed modern Irish music. Both are exemplary musicians across a range of genres which include classical, blues, rock and popular. All come together on 'Causeway', their finest collaboration to date. Both contribute instrumental compositions, sometimes, not always emanating from the same musical source. The title track - McGlynn's composition, a reel for our times - sports a melody played on fiddle chasing a chugging funky engine of fender Telecaster, drums and Hammond, which resolves into a masterfully constructed wall of sound. 'Cabbage and Cale', also by McGlynn, is a subtle celebration of the groove master whose accents are as green as the proverbial. 'Rainy Summer is borne in on harmonica by Brendan Power, another musical multi-linguist, sharing riff and counter-riff with fiddle, guitar and Hammond in an elegantly jazzy invocation. 'Murals' is an hypnotic soundscape of Fender Telecaster, harmonica and fiddle.
Nollaig Casey's compositions, by contrast, are more weighted towards the melodic, but despite the change in direction the transitions are seamless. 'Tra An Phearla' announced on viola with full-sounding string and guitar arrangement, is a lushly orchestrated piece, while Lios Na Banriona' , for fiddles and guitar brings Baroque and the traditional into sweet harmony.
An unexpected bonus is the inclusion of three songs, the delightful lullaby 'Seo leo Thoil', A Stór Mo Chroí' and 'Dún Na Séad, sung by NollaigCasey."
- Nuala O'Connor in THE IRISH TIMES
IRISH MUSIC MAGAZINE
"Causeway is a completely progressive album. While the songs are dealt with in an orthodox way the tunes are much less traditional. The driving force for this style seems to come from McGlynn himself who brings his complete knowledge of jazz and blues to bear on Irish music.
He has always been an imaginative player and the blues/jazz texture of this album has been double-stitched with the help of harmonica player Brendan Power.
McGlynn comes fron the North and Nollaig comes from Cork, but Causeway is not affected by regional style at all, perferring instead a sound that is much broader, contemporary, light and refreshing.
It would not be exactly correct to call this traditional Irish music but it is certainly music that comes out of the tradition of Ireland"
- Lloyd Gorman in IRISH MUSIC MAGAZINE