Outside the Box

Outside the Box

by Billy McComiskeyBilly McComiskey


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All over the booklet of this CD, there's effusive praise about Billy McComiskey and his Irish button accordion playing from those who know. At times it's so high that you wonder how he can ever hope to live up to it. After all, he's not a man who's made a lot of records, although he's one of the leading lights of Irish-American music. But then you put on the disc and the truth is revealed -- McComiskey really is that good. There's an easy, natural fluency to his playing, but even more importantly, a feel for the music that makes it swing in a way that's particularly Irish-American. The reverence in which he's held is apparent from the quality of the accompanists here: John Doyle, Liz Carroll, Mick Moloney, and Joanie Madden, among others -- they're all superb musicians, and McComiskey is the equal of them all. A fair number of the tunes come from his own pen, with several others from his mentor, Sean McGlynn, as well as a couple of trips back in history, with the set of O'Carolan tunes a particular standout for their filigreed delicacy. For the most part this is uptempo, and that's the ideal way to experience McComiskey, a man who's operated happily at the grassroots level of Irish-American music for decades, while also standing shoulder to shoulder with the greats. This is his first solo outing since 1981, and his first recording since 1995, making its rarity obvious and the palpable joy at hearing such a superb musician ever greater.

Product Details

Release Date: 08/12/2008
Label: Compass Records
UPC: 0766397448824
catalogNumber: 4488
Rank: 96628

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Billy McComiskey   Primary Artist,Accordion
Liz Carroll   Fiddle
Mick Moloney   Tenor Banjo
Myron Bretholz   Bodhran
John Doyle   Bouzouki,Guitar,Mandola
Joanie Madden   Flute,Human Whistle
Brendan Dolan   Piano
Mathew Bell   Bodhran

Technical Credits

Billy McComiskey   Composer,Photo Courtesy
Mick Moloney   Arranger,Liner Notes
Ed Reavy   Composer
Glenn Barratt   Engineer
Myron Bretholz   Track Annotations
Gabriel Donohue   Engineer
John Doyle   Producer
Brendan Dolan   Photo Courtesy
Earle Hitchner   Liner Notes
Traditional   Composer
Erick Jaskowiak   Engineer
Mike McHale   Photo Courtesy

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