A sparkling celebration of Irish music & life that is itself a literary performance of the highest order. Each chapter takes the title of a traditional tune, and as in a session played by brilliant improvising musicians, each tune leads into another, melodies & variations weaving in & out in a haze of talk & memory. Carson’s inspired jumble of recording history, poetry, tall tales, & polemic captures the sound & vigor of a ruthlessly unsentimental music. A leading Irish poet who is also an accomplished flute player, he tells of his Belfast childhood, of learning to play music, of his travels in Ireland & America, of poteen, & pub life. “One of the most stunningly original books ever written about music, musician, & the lover of the gig.”
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