Not all the credit goes to Gerry, of course: helpful friends on this recording include many familiar names from Irish music, and the sleeve design is outstanding too. Special mention should go to the photo on the CD itself, a lovely touch. Long-time member of the Emily Smith band, this multi-instrumentalist has put together an album of his own compositions in the celtic idiom. New Zealand born, Jamie grew up with Irish and Scottish music: his own tunes are identifiably from this tradition, in the style of Smyth, Finnegan, McGoldrick or MacColl, lyrical lines twining with intricate rhythms.
Little Red is kind of in between, a catchy offbeat slow reel. Jamie plays mandolin and guitar too, Duncan Lyall is solid on bass, and there are a few other little touches.
In Transit is never dull, and this music is certainly going places. The final Horizontal Living track is one of a handful here with electronic jiggery pokery: well judged, not overpowering, this modern edge complements the acoustic arrangements.
Certainly one to watch, and well-worth checking out the online samples. A new young band, this time from the Midlands and County Waterford, an area with plenty of music these days it seems. Caladh Nua is a five-piece of two fiddles, button box, banjo, whistle, guitar, and the almost obligatory female singer. The first of four songs is Craigie Hills, strongly sung by Lisa, with accompaniment in good Planxty style.
The remaining eight tracks are all instrumental, all good or better, with bags of variety. The Lisnagun Set combines three grand old jigs on box and banjo, while the title track is a pair of twin fiddle hornpipes. Curious Things Given Wings. From a loose collection of Limerick music students, this quintet has evolved into a powerful focused group. This track like many others shows the arranging skills of the band, weaving instruments tightly together.
And so it continues. A stirring set of Sliabh Luachra polkas shows off those great arranging skills again. Caroline of Edinburgh Town sees the band in sad and gentle mood. The following two medleys are back to the core of Celtic dance music old and new, with melodies by Jerry Holland and James Kelly. McCalmans released their first album on Greentrax way back in In that time some fans may have missed some vintage material.
Silver Lining excellently utilises the amalgamation of talent that exists within Ciorras especially in the combination of arrangements. The set starts with a carefully paced cadence and builds up into an inferno before suddenly reverting back to the definitively slow paced tempo of the start.
Ciara Cunningham enters the lyrics and grabs them by the gut and twists them into an emotional tear jerker that hits hard. Her voice evokes sentiment and the melodic accompaniment reinforces the poignancy of the song. Intriguingly complex arrangements delivered with a confidence and panache that compels you to listen. A definite winner. Eileen McCabe. Lament for the 21st Century Candyrat Records www. Starting with The Drunken Landlady, the opening set of reels is a fresh take on his debut recording.
The Mountain Road and The Corkscrew see him back in familiar territory, taking traditional Irish tunes and turning them into tin sandwich tours de force.
Several tracks here are reworked from previous albums. The thumping monster Balkan number Sweet Bulgarity was also on that CD, as was the title track of this album: both are well worth hearing in these new versions. Keyboards throughout are provided by Vijay Tellis-Nayak. For some reason, Brendan is moved to turn his harmonica into a didgeridoo mimic for Didgeriblues: it must be a Kiwi thing. Technically stunning, this penultimate track pushes all the blues harp buttons - without any actual buttons, of course.
This CD is another collection of top-notch music from the master, a must for mouth-organ fans. Alex Monaghan. Musically Festival Bell is folk rock in the English style as patented by Fairport themselves and the tension moves effortlessly from acoustic to electric. Caladh Nua has applied that same rule with their second album Next Stop, following their impressive debut Happy Days. Jeff makes it to the Club occasionally, about every six weeks on average; but these days he comes later and leaves even earlier, leaving the audience to savour and to simply enjoy his songs.
But Jim had a job in Customs and Excise, and he emigrated down south to Kent, where he could be heard playing up a storm on his simple two-row. Jim played the pubs and bars with guitarist Patrick Forester, from Cork City to the Mizen Head, butting out in the stormy Atlantic, and to remote islands such as Sherkin and Cape Clear. Playing in the noisy bars was meat and drink to Jim; both he and Patrick developed an eclectic style which was part Irish music-hall from Percy French, part Irish rebel songs, part ceili tunes and part pop songs, which kept the drinking public fascinated and ordering more pints of the black stuff.
But, forever restless, Jim and Francie emigrated once more to the volcanic island of El Hierro, which was well off the beaten track in the popular tourist-inhabited Canaries; then it was south-west Scotland, in Glentrool village, and finally Northern Ireland.
Jim recorded it alone at the Davy Lamp Folk Club, and I really admire his unfettered, freestyle squeezebox playing. The People have no wish to be Folk, and Jim has listened and learned from the People rather than the Folk. The Happy Days Set. By Heck. The Templehouse Reels.
Song: Banks of the Lee. Humours of Westport Set. The Gort na Mona Set. The Jolly Beggarman Set. Song: Beeswing. Richard Thompson. The Gravel Walks Set.
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