The New Road

Album Title: The New Road

Musicians: Charlie Piggott (accordion), Gerry Harrington (fiddle)

Guest musicians: Johnny ‘Ringo’ Mc Donagh, Sean O Loingsigh & Eugene Kelly

Recorded in Naas, Co. Kildare


Right from the very first tunes, “James McMahon’s jig” and “Paddy Mullins’ jig”, this recording sets off on a graceful and involving journey through some exceptionally fine sets of jigs, hornpipes, reels and waltzes, making time along the way for a couple of reflective slow airs.Charlie Piggott was one of the founder members of De Dannan, the first in a line of many gifted button box players to be associated over the years with this much-admired band. Charlie Piggott also played and recorded with Miriam Collins and Joe Corcoran in The Lonely Stranded Band. Fiddle player, Gerry Harrington is from Kenmare, Co. Kerry and early influences were the likes of Connie O’Connell and Dennis McMahon. During the eighties he lived for some time in Chicago where he mixed and played with local musicians including Johnny McGeevy and Liz Carroll. Accompanying Gerry and Charlie along “The New Road” on various tracks are, Sean O’ Loingsigh on bouzouki, Johnny “Ringo” McDonagh on bodhran and Eugene Kelly on piano. All tracks are mention-worthy, but of particular merit are the set of marches, “The Battle of Aughrim / Napoleon Crossing the Alps”, the slow air, “Lament for Lugh Darcy”, and the reels, “The New Road / The Old Man’s Blackthorn Stick”. Although the material is mainly the music of the dance – jigs, reels and hornpipes – the style of the performance is more revealing about the nature and soul of the music and the musicians. The playing is from the heart of the tune, never hurried; never sold short, generous and good humoured.

Peter Fairbairn  The Living Tradition magazine

The Folk Diary January 2001

Known originally as a banjo player in the early days of De Dannan line-up, Charlie has concentrated on the diatonic accordion for a number of years now. Though he lives overlooking Galway bay, Charlie has been a frequent visitor to Brighton in recent years, where he has family. On these occasions he brings a great deal of impact to the local Irish sessions.
His partnership with Kerry fiddler, Gerry, sounds like a musical marriage made in heaven and results in probably the most satisfying of Charlie’s many recordings. As always, he is able to demonstrate the dazzling variety of Irish traditional music rather than just the fast reels and jigs that many musicians go for.
Johnny ‘Ringo’ Mc Donagh on bodhran and Eugene Kelly on piano provide subtle accompaniments.    

Vic Smith

Traditional Music Maker  October 2000

Despite a rather naff cover, the Piggott and Harrington CD is as lively as a barrel of monkeys, but then it’s not really surprising since both have quite a reputation. Gerry Harrington used to play Stateside in the ex pat communities of Chicago, making a name for himself with Liz Carroll. Piggott on the other hand, was a founder member of the sublime De Dannan and former band mate Ringo McDonagh turns up here with the accompanists, characteristically flailing a bodhran. Their playing is spry and crisp on jigs, forceful and driving on the marches, gloriously loose and languid on the slides. But then I suppose that’s what you expect when such master musicians get together. This is a sparkling stream of an album.

Simon Jones

Rock’n’Reel  Reviews. 01.02

Accordion player Charlie Piggott initially made his name as one of the founder members of De Dannan. More recently he can be found in the delightfully named Lonely Stranded Band. He teams up on “THE NEW ROAD”, however, with fiddle player Gerry Harrington, a stalwart of Cork/Kerry traditional Irish music. 
With sensitive accompaniment from Eugene Kelly on piano and the occasional contribution of Sean O’Loingsigh (bouzouki), THE NEW ROAD winds merrily along, featuring reels, jigs, and hornpipes from throughout Ireland, to earthy and entertaining effect. This is an authentic sound, devoid of the glitzy schmaltz of Riverdance or the speed and bluster of the “Irish pub circuit” duos. As such it is a refreshing treat.

 Sean McGhee


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