'‘Willie Kelly is something of a celebrity in the world of New York’s Irish music. A brilliant player, he was born in the Bronx and learned from some of New York’s legendary greats, including Martin Mulvihill, Mike Rafferty, Jack Coen, Charlie Coen, and Joe Madden. And while it’s the Sligo influence that seems to dominate conversations about New York fiddle playing, Kelly’s clearly heeded the lessons of the East Galway/Limerick players from whom he learned. Apparent, too, is his passion for the Co. Clare giants Martin Rochford and Paddy Canny, players with whom he was also fortunate enough to have met and played. The result of this experience is a player whose music is lush, authoritative, and never strays too far from a tune’s inherent beauty.
If ever there was a kindred musical partner, Kelly seems to have found it in Power. A Co. Waterford native, Power spent years learning from Tommy Kearney, and later from the likes of Jimmy O’Brien Moran, Willie Reynolds, Breandán Breathnach, Ronan Browne, MacDara MacDonncha and Peter Carberry. The chemistry these two share is apparent from the first track, “The Flax in Bloom / ….” There, the duo play with great flair, something that gives these well-known tunes a sense of freshness. The same can be said of “Apples in Winter / …,” a jig track on which the two musicians play as if with one mind and shows the great intuition each has for the other’s music. Other standout tracks include the set dance and hornpipe “Bonaparte’s Retreat / Callaghan’s” and the jigs “Bímís ag Ól / …,” both of which are magnificently rendered and throughly engaging, but honestly it’s hard to single out tracks as they’re all excellent. It’s brilliant piping and brilliant music overall.
There’s a magic to “Apples in Winter” that will resonate with people who love and admire traditional Irish music played with a stately air and a gentlemanly touch. Power and Kelly obviously prefer to put the music’s elegance first, but there is a vigor in their playing that completes the package and brings energy to the tunes they’ve selected. ….it’s an absolutely brilliant recording that will have universal appeal, and one I cannot recommend more highly. " Daniel Neely – Irish Echo 2016
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- Claddagh Label