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VARIOUS ARTISTS "Bringing it All Back Home" Hummingbird HBCD0026

On the surface 'Bringing it All back Home' appears to be a straight re-issue, and repackage of the long available 1991 release from the BBC series of the same name. That is until you dig a little deeper. Gone is Liam O'Flynn's moody rendition of "A Stor Mo Chroi". In addition two new tracks are drafted in to replace 'The Lee Valley String Band', and one of Micheal O'Suilleabhain's contributions. Despite the changes, this remains a consummate collection detailing the enormous scope of Irish traditional music. Newly subtitled 'The Influence of Irish Music' the album contains some of the most spellbinding, and groundbreaking musicianship available on any compilation of Celtic music. Artists as diverse as Emmylou Harris and the Everly Brothers (yes it's true!) sit happily alongside such mainstays of the Irish scene as Donnal Lunny, and De Dannan.

Originally, the TV series was conceived to show how 'resilient, adaptable and above all enduring 'the nature of Irish music is'. Such was the quality of the program that it also spawned a number of copies, the most enduring being the 'Transatlantic Sessions'. Comprising 36 tracks, this release makes a valuable compendium of Irish traditional music, which hasn't dated one iota during its ten years on the market. Van Morrison points out on the rear sleeve 'I have a theory that soul music originally came from Scotland and Ireland'. I just don't know who'll break this news to Aretha Franklin.

Keith Whitham

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This album was reviewed in Issue 43 of The Living Tradition magazine.