Neal Morse and the “Irish Breakdown”

If you have read a single post on this blog, you are probably well aware that I am a dedicated Neal Morse fan.  One thing I have noticed about Neal’s music is that it seems on each of his solo records, there is an inclusion of some traditional Irish musical ideas.  Sometimes it is just a few seconds, but other times it can be several minutes or even entire songs.  I have come to know these snippets of Irish music as “Irish Breakdowns.”  The incorporation of this particularly recognizable musical idiom within a genre that does not necessarily lend itself to such music adds to the long, long list of ingenious decisions made by Neal Morse.  The mother of all “Irish Breakdowns” can be found on his album One in a song entitled “The Separated Man.”  I highly recommend listening to the entire song (and the entire album for that matter), but in the spirit of St. Patrick’s Day week, the “Irish Breakdown” begins at around the 9:25 mark and continues to about the 15:00 mark.  This excerpt also includes a guitar solo from one of the most talented guitarists who has ever walked the face of the earth, Mr. Phil Keaggy.  Enjoy!

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