Raelach Records are delighted to announce the release of Dúchas, the début solo album from county Clare accordion player, Damien O’Reilly. Among the 13 tracks featured on the album are a selection of reels, jigs, barndances, and flings associated with the north Clare region.
One of the main sources of inspiration for Dúchas, according to O’Reilly, is the musical region in which he grew up. “For me, this album reflects and pays homage to the music that I have been immersed in throughout my musical life in Corofin and its environs, in the north Clare area. I hope the album portrays some of the lively and energetic qualities of the local music and musicians that have influenced me up to now”.
"Devotees of the B/C button accordion will be well-served by this album, which succeeds in portraying a profile of a musician with a developed and mature style, and which (from the excellent sleeve notes) was informed not just by the music of Clare but also reflects on the wealth of traditional music available on recordings. This album will, no doubt over time, itself contribute to this same process of recorded and digital transmission, and make its own impact on the next generation of accordion players"
Adrian Scahill, The Journal of Music
"Damien’s playing is full of life and energy - inhibited with soul and bravado as he tackles the tunes and rolls with their melodic flow and ebb. It’s an emotional experience; one in which the secret language of music waves its spell over the listener, equipping the performances with the appropriate heart and leaving the listener looking for more"
John O'Regan, The Living Tradition
“Damien leaves no stone unturned to deliver a debut solo album that’s a true representation of his lively, driving style in which he adds ornamentation and variations freely and effortlessly. All very much in line with his ‘Dúchas’”
Caoimhín Ó Sé, RTÉ Raidió na Gaeltachta
“Great musical qualities and great playing”
Ellen Cranitch, RTÉ Lyric FM
"“Dúchas” is an exceedingly fine album from a great young player"
Daniel Neely, The Irish Echo
“A fine debut album”
Siobhán Long, The Irish Times
“For anyone interested in Irish Traditional music and especially accordion playing this album is definitely one for your collection. The musicality, technical ability, choice of material, very tasteful accompaniment and excellent production leads to a superb listening experience that lingers in the mind long after the music has stopped playing”
John Lynch, The Kilfenora Céilí Band
"This is an unpretentious disc affording simple, tasteful pleasures which stand repeated listening, up close to savour – but the simplicity and apparent effortless ease of Damien’s playing is highly deceptive and inevitably there’s more to his artistry that’s revealed primarily by further attentive listening"
David Kidman, Folk Radio UK
"Dúchas is more than a mere homage to the past, O’Reilly’s alert, fluid and finger-tip delicate technique dexterously searching out new approaches fit for contemporary ears. Melody is to the fore in nimbly executed playing where understated technique services flowing lyricism and emotional immediacy"
Michael Quinn, Songlines
“Damien’s energy and zest are what makes this CD something special. Many young players can produce virtuoso renditions of Austin Tierney’s or The Boys of Ballisodare, but very few can bring a range of traditional melodies to life as Damien does. “Dúchas” shows more than virtuosity: it shows vitality and vision and an ability to reveal the soul of the music”
Alex Monaghan, Irish Music Magazine
"This debut album from Damien is a pure delight to listen to. The recording by Jack Talty of Realach Records is excellent, the cover is attractive and the music itself is hearty, lively and is overflowing with ancient tradition and “dúchas” from his native Co. Clare"
Neansaí Ní Choisdealbha, Eagraí Ceoil, RTÉ Raidió na Gaeltachta.
“County Clare's lively and rhythmic style dominates this excellent album of traditional Irish music”
Ciro De Rosa, Blogfoolk