December 14 CC Adam and John Suantrai-frontCover-medium

By Rodger Hara – - -

After nine years of playing together and numerous stage appearances with the likes of Martin Hayes, Dennis Cahill, Robbie O’Connell, Máirtín de Cógáin and others, the talented duo of Adam Agee and Jon Sousa has released their long-awaited joint CD. All too short at 10 tracks, the album is called “Suantrai” (Irish for lullaby) and features an assortment of traditional jigs, reels and airs, music written in the traditional style by contemporary artists and original music.

Of Adam’s fiddle playing, Martin Hayes once said “I’ve never heard him play a note that wasn’t sincere and from the heart. His music is true and free from pretense.” Of Jon’s guitar artistry, Dennis Cahill has said “There’s no filler or tricks to his playing – he just makes good music.”
The observations of these two members of the Masters of Tradition ensemble are borne out in this brilliantly conceived and executed debut album. The creative and thoughtful combinations, the seamless transitions and musical excellence manifest what Hayes and Cahill heard when they invited them to share the stage in 2012 at the Spanish Peaks International Celtic Music Festival.

From the first track, the trad reel “Sporting Paddy” and John Brady’s “Siobhan O’Donnell’s”, featuring Jon’s guitar laying a percussive foundation for Adam’s fiddling, to the last track, “Amhran An Bha” (Song of the Drowning) a rarely heard largo lament, this album pleases the ear. And for the thoughtful listener with an interest in context, there is much to be found that enriches the mind with surprises throughout. For example, the second track, “John Naughton’s/Tommy Coen’s” is a combination of tunes done in 1981 by Mary MacNamara on concertina and Martin Hayes on fiddle. Adam and Jon’s version features Jon on banjo with Adam’s fiddle and honors the Clare tempo of the tunes. The seventh track sweetly combines Jon’s solo guitar on ”Maids of the Mourne Shore” (the tune used for “Down by the Salley Gardens”) with Adam’s fiddle on “Niel Gow’s Lament for the Death of His Second Wife”, another lovely and rarely heard tune that was featured in the Alison Krause and Natalie MacMaster collaboration “Get Me Through December”.

Christmas is here and this is a great stocking stuffer for someone you love who loves trad music – and a not bad gift for yourself, at that.

You can see and hear Adam and Jon and buy a copy of “Suantrai” at the Rocky Mountain Revels annual Christmas Revels – an Irish Celebration of the Winter Solstice, at the Boulder Theater on Saturday, December 14th & Sunday, December 20th. Show times are 2 PM and 7 PM both dates. Tickets can be purchased at http://www.rockymountainrevels.org/tickets.html. The CD is also available on iTunes, CD Baby and on the Acoustic Sounds website

© 2015 Celtic Connection Suffusion theme by Sayontan Sinha