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TRADISH - Roots And Shoots

TRADISH - Roots And Shoots
GO Danish Folk Music GO0113

The label is Danish, as are two of the trio, but the emphasis on this release is strictly Irish traditional and contemporary songwriting. Tradish comprise John Pilkington, vocals, guitar, bouzouki, stepping; Louise Ring Vangsgaard, fiddle, viola, vocals; and Brian Woetmann, bodhran, percussion, vocals, stepping. And a fine multi-national ensemble they make, too, drawing musical influences from the likes of Kevin Burke and Rory Kennedy.

Right from the start, with their arrangement of Si Kahn’s What You Do With What You’ve Got, John’s voice gives a drive and a focus around which the instrumentation builds up. There’s a fair balance between songs and tunes, with the songs reflecting both tradition and modernity, with a fine take on the follies of outsourcing in Brian’s China Charter, and Wally Page’s Sixteen Jolly Ravers, which was always an exercise in whimsy, is here given more multi-national treatment, with Russian and Kletzmer-style arrangements which have just a touch of Mozart in them – I know that sounds complex, but trust me, it works!

All of the musicians work well together, layering their inputs to produce an overall sound which is controlled without dragging, and complex enough to maintain interest throughout. There is a good overall feel to the balance between the numbers, which should reach out to traddies and to those who prefer more contemporary material played in a rootsy style.

A fine cosmopolitan mixture which is well worth a listen.

Gordon Potter

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This album was reviewed in Issue 97 of The Living Tradition magazine.