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ALEC FINN Innisfree AFCD001

I was prepared to dislike this by the title track; another done to death tune, used as part of the sound track of 'The Quiet Man'. I didn't like the film, with all its misty-eyed view of rural 'Oireland', and still don't. But that's no reason to dislike this CD. Finn plays various stringed instruments, along with Paul Johnson, Brian McGrath and Kevin Macleod, and makes a good job of it.

This is not in his usual De Dannan mode; it's a really reflective collection. Not a fast track on it; even the setdance 'The Downfall of Paris' is taken at an easy pace. Ó Carolan's 'Fanny Power' and 'Ó Carolan's Draught', which I'd normally prefer on the harp are treated with due respect; as are the old standard slow airs, 'Ar Éirinn ní Neosainn Cé Hí', 'Sliabh na mBan' and 'The Coolin'.

All things considered, it's good stuff from Finn; not to get you excited but music to relax with. Even I need to do that sometimes, and on these occasions the first thing I find myself doing is reaching for 'Innisfree'. All I need now is a way to get John Wayne out of my head.

Mick Furey