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It can be hard to put a finger on what is really hitting the musical spot at any one time, and it's only by habit that I notice what is hitting my turntable regularly. I take a conscious effort to make sure I know what music enters my waxy eardrums, and will not suffer poor musical choices without some kind of face pulling.

I listen to vinyl mostly as I really enjoy the ritual of selecting the record and listening to whole piece. Though listening to music is far less of a thrill than playing it, I still notice the difference in the experience of playing a CD or MP3 to spinning a record. The recent unearthing of NA FILI 3 in a old bookstore in Athlone over the Christmas was truly an epiphany for me, but one that was a long time coming.

Having lived in Ireland for most of my life, I was not always able to get my head around traditional Irish music. The music seemed to come from some other time, and the songs and music seemed to be separated as accompaniment, especially by guitar, was not encouraged. Not being an instrumentalist but a singer I was left wandering into American folk styles, which seemed more open and also more relatable to the popular music of the times.

Living Galway for many years I could not help discover young players with great passion and energy who were completely absorbed in Irish Traditional music; Harry Bradley, Dereck O'Shea, Declan Corey, and Jon Hicks (Gan Ainm) were the folks I followed around and looked up to and hassled and admired though I felt completely separate from them, I was in awe of how they played together, and I remember sessions in Mick Taylors Bar in which they played acoustic instrumental music that mesmerized my eardrums.  Here's a discovered link of a show they did in Iceland that really does capture some of the ambiance and energy. 

So that's sort of the round about introduction to the album I'm listening to right now. It spins and spins and I just keep listening. I feel it's all there. Everything I every wanted to know about Irish traditional music: The songs, the airs, the laments and the passion. I just hope some of it rubs off on me. Here's a clip of the boys playing that I hope you'll enjoy.