Charlie McGlynn’s music review: Brendan Magee – Second Time Around

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Brendan Magee – Second Time Around, Glenshine Records

For Sligo man Brendan, this is indeed the second time around. He spent over twenty years on the Irish music scene and released his only album until now in 1993. He also became involved with the country music scene in a slightly different direction as he became a country music presenter on both Midwest and Northwest Radio. At the same time he was training to become an airline pilot and in 2001 he gained his commercial pilot licence. Unfortunately in the aftermath of September 11, there was a downturn in the aviation industry thus it wasn’t until 2005 that he seized his first position as a first officer with Aer Arran, who were based in Galway. After just two years he was promoted to captain. Unfortunately in 2011 Aer Arran withdrew its services from there. Instead of taking a transfer and moving base, Brendan decided to resurrect his music career.

He performs mainly as a one-man show touring around the social dancing scene all over Ireland and has also visited the UK. When he is doing larger gigs he plays as a duo with popular singer/songwriter Eugene Cunningham; it’s a combination that goes down very well with dance crowds everywhere. His first single release after the break was Waltz Down Memory Lane, which was written by Eugene and it was very well received on radio and by the dance crowds.

It is obvious from the fourteen very good tracks on this CD why Brendan has been so well received on the dance circuit. They vary in style and tempo but all are excellent for dancing too, whether it be a waltz, a quickstep or a jive.

For those who like their music more up-tempo there is the current single release Social Dancing, which is proving very popular with the dancers and radio DJs.

There is also a great version of one of my favourite tunes, Dreaming Of You. Other more lively numbers include Five Minutes More, Galway John, Bantry Bay and Never Too Old. Also included is the Beatles classic, All My Loving, which is given a country style treatment that works very well.

For those who like the tempo a little more gentle there are several great tunes including, Waltz Down Memory Lane, A Picture of Your Mother, Cottage On The Boarderline, One Step At A Time, Little Sea Shell and Among The Wicklow Hills.

The standout track for me is Tell Me Goodbye, a classic country love song given new life by Brendan. Definitely one for all old romantics like myself.

Brendan has a voice that is very easy on the ear and his choice of songs are perfectly suited to it. A mention must also be given to his musicians, who included some of Ireland’s biggest names such as Charlie Arkins and Dessie Hynes. It was recorded at Charlie’s son David’s studio and apart from playing on the CD he also did a wonderful job on the production.

The end product is a great Irish Country and Dance album. I thoroughly enjoyed listening to this disc and would have no hesitation recommending it to anyone.

The album launch will be in The Rainbow, Ballroom of Romance, Glenfarne, Co. Leitrim on Wed. 13th August. Three hours of dancing to Brendan plus two more bands. 9 pm to 12. Tel: 00 353 85102 8560