The McCartneys of Pennyburn
***** (out of five)
Brendan McAuley is unquestionably one of London’s top traditional Irish musicians and it is great to see an album from one of the stalwarts of the London scene — something that frankly we don’t see enough of.
This is a concept album about his ancestors and dedicated to his grandmother Kathleen Griffith (the last McCartney of Pennyburn and her daughter Margaret McAuley — his mother) with all the music composed by Brendan, apart from a traditional track, When My Love and I Parted and the excellent anthem-like Men of Arranmore which he co-wrote with his brother Jackie.
Jackie is well known on the London scene from his days with his own terrific band Poormouth.
The album covers the period 1865-1912 in relation to the family and was obviously a time-consuming labour of love for Brendan.
The result was worth the effort because some beautiful music emerged with Brendan playing all the instruments — too many to mention.
A smashing album from an incredibly talented musician, it is distributed by Proper/Copperplate so watch out for it.