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Tommy Byrnes - Alehouse Insurrections

Alehouse Insurrections

Tommy Byrnes

Soverignty 001

Sovereignty Records
P.O. Box 762
Bernardston, MA 01337
(413) 648-9595

A review written for the Folk & Acoustic Music Exchange
by: Bob Gottlieb

Tommy Burns grew up in America and took up guitar as a hobby and he soon realized that was he wanted to make his living with the instrument. His first learned music was the blues, through the electric rock scene of the time; the names of Eric Clapton and Martin Barre (Jethro Tull) are two of his influences. On a lark he wound up going to a concert by a group playing Celtic music and realized that is the music he wanted to play. He went to Ireland and learned in pubs and on the street, even making a living as a busker. This record is the results of his effort to go out on his own after a few years in a group called Ockham's Razor. Here he wrote seven of the nine tunes and played all the instruments (except for help from John Reynolds on fiddle on one tune and from Sean Cowhig playing bass on another). He also did all the vocals, except for some backing vocals from Carrie Ferguson on two tunes. This disc has an Irish accent and the music is based on Irish music, but it is not done with the conviction that is necessary to do it well. His voice is not strong and doesn't have the feel for the music that comes with conviction, and is crucial to carry it off in a satisfying manner. As to the rock influence it is not there except for a few chord changes here and there as it is in groups like Altan or Clannad. Not a very satisfying disc, though there is a basis to think in the future it might improve.

Edited by: David N. Pyles

Copyright 2005, Peterborough Folk Music Society.
This review may be reprinted with prior permission and attribution.

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