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Cabritunes CAB008

The title is literal: this album was made in Nashville Tennessee, a fact which the clarity of production and superb musicianship confirms. It’s a profoundly evocative album, in which space is left for the listener to interact with the songs, while brief notes explain the source and inspiration.

The main album has 12 tracks; there are four bonus tracks, which genuinely serve to complement the rest (as opposed to being vaguely related oddments or previously discarded out-takes). The first two tracks are thematically related, though consciously contrasted in style and tempo: Curragh is inspired by the legendary vessels on which one sailed west to Tir Na Nog; In America is about the literal land of future to which many Irish emigres were forced to sail. The remaining songs explore Irish roots (history in ancient stone, motorcycle explorations and a classic moment of fond farewell) and American aspiration. That the availability of top class players is a key factor in the album’s approach is attested by an uplifting revisit to The Fire, the first song they wrote together.

Overall the album, in almost every aspect, reminds one of Mary Chapin-Carpenter at her finest.

The bonus tracks are two more of their own on-stage favourites, given a new lease of life by this fine studio ensemble, plus two “roots” tracks – You’ve Lost That Loving Feeling (Cathryn’s first professional job was singing with Righteous Brother Bill Medley) and Those Were The Days (Brian’s career began playing guitar for Mary Hopkin).

A superb four-track coda to an utterly satisfying album.

Nigel Schofield

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This album was reviewed in Issue 113 of The Living Tradition magazine.