Link to Living Tradition Homepage





FULL SET - Notes After Dark

FULL SET - Notes After Dark
Private Label FSRCD002

This young group follows up their excellent debut CD with an equally impressive second album. Pipes, fiddle, flute, button box and the usual accompaniment: the reels and jigs fly by, and the slower tracks are simply beautiful. Teresa Hogan sings four songs - strong and clear versions of Both Sides The Tweed and Bonnie Airlie and a lovely gentle take on Ned Of The Hill. The band's emphasis is on instrumental music and with one singer, four musicians and a drummer, that seems only fair. There are two unusual features of this CD. The first is the absence of the band's own compositions: fiddler Michael Harrison provides a gorgeous air and a 7/8 cracker, but Full Set rely on the tradition for great dance music and songs. The second is the inclusion of a ragtime piece, a demanding style from early 1900s black American music, yet even Teresa's flute and Martino Vacca's pipes can be coaxed through its contortions to produce a showpiece worth of McGoldrick or McSherry. The staple diet of Irish session tunes is played with equal skill: Gus Jordan's, Boil The Breakfast Early and everything in between.

In short, Notes After Dark is brilliantly entertaining and full of promise, which is why I'll permit myself a wee rant about the one thing that bugged me. Roseville Fair is the fourth song here, but it's only about 90% there. Some of the words are swallowed, others are just missing. For instance, “I can hear them now coming through the rye” is simply wrong and makes no sense in the context: the band is “playing Coming Through The Rye”, an oldtime standard. That missing word “playing” adds authenticity to the song and changes the meaning of “tuning” from the improbable “getting in tune” to the more banjo-credible “playing tunes”! It's a small thing, but the words are readily available and the next step is for someone to sing, “I can hear them now going through the rye”, giving us drunken revellers rather than sober musicians. Or something. Anyway, a word can make a big difference, as Lady Mondegreen has demonstrated. Rant over. See for details of this excellent CD and its predecessor Notes At Liberty.

Alex Monaghan

Secure On-line mailorder service
Buy this CD online from The Listening Post
The Listening Post is the CD mailorder service of The Living Tradition magazine.
This album was reviewed in Issue 98 of The Living Tradition magazine.