GUIDEWIRES – Guidewires Live (Guidewires Music GWMCD001)

GUIDEWIRESSince 1973 when Planxty challenged everyone’s stereotypical preconceptions of how ‘Irish-Celtic’ music should be perceived outside the comfortable existence of The Dubliners and Clancy Brothers the gauntlet has been thrown down and numerous bands have been drawn to the battlefield including The Bothy Band and Nomos etc. Skip forward to 1982 where Alistair Anderson’s Steel Skies showcased a new ‘artistic’ genre in the field of folk music by including concertina and flute layered on a string driven sound and even more recently Lunasa where they have proved that purely instrumental groups can broaden audiences appreciation in their listening attitudes. The component parts of Guidewires are Padraig Rynne (concertina), Sylvain Barou (wooden flute), Tola Custy (fiddle), Karol Lynch (bouzouki) and Paul McSherry on guitar. As such, collectively there is real fire in the belly or just as easily they can turn their attention to beautiful slow airs. Somewhat disconcertingly although this is a ‘live’ recording with no overdubs you would assume there would be a warm reaction at the end of each track. As there is none, presumably for reasons of radio airplay we’ll just have to assume the audience enthusiasm was ecstatic throughout the entire concert. Or, was I wrong in assuming ‘live’ in this case doesn’t mean an audience attended concert but means recorded ‘live’ in the studio…who knows or cares really. Either way it is a testament to the musicians that their attention to detail cannot fail to impress and, with a bit of luck we’ll be hearing much more from a band that has picked up that challenge and run with it. Majestic isn’t a word to be used lightly but in this case I think it is approriate.  Since 1973 when Planxty challenged everyone’s stereotypical preconceptions of how ‘Irish-Celtic’ music should be perceived outside the comfortable existence of The Dubliners and Clancy Brothers the gauntlet has been thrown down and numerous bands have been drawn to the battlefield including The Bothy Band and Nomos etc. Skip forward to 1982 where Alistair Anderson’s Steel Skies showcased a new ‘artistic’ genre in the field of folk music by including concertina and flute layered on a string driven sound and even more recently Lunasa where they have proved that purely instrumental groups can broaden audiences appreciation in their listening attitudes. The component parts of Guidewires are Padraig Rynne (concertina), Sylvain Barou (wooden flute), Tola Custy (fiddle), Karol Lynch (bouzouki) and Paul McSherry on guitar. As such, collectively there is real fire in the belly or just as easily they can turn their attention to beautiful slow airs. Somewhat disconcertingly although this is a ‘live’ recording with no overdubs you would assume there would be a warm reaction at the end of each track. As there is none, presumably for reasons of radio airplay we’ll just have to assume the audience enthusiasm was ecstatic throughout the entire concert. Or, was I wrong in assuming ‘live’ in this case doesn’t mean an audience attended concert but means recorded ‘live’ in the studio…who knows or cares really. Either way it is a testament to the musicians that their attention to detail cannot fail to impress and, with a bit of luck we’ll be hearing much more from a band that has picked up that challenge and run with it. Majestic isn’t a word to be used lightly but in this case I think it is appropriate. PETE FYFE

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