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CYRIL Ó DONOGHUE "Nothing But A Child" CD001 COD

Cyril Ó Donoghue is well enough known as a Co. Clare bouzouki and guitar player, but I've never heard him sing yet. So this puts that omission right. His voice isn't the most striking but so what? It's a pleasant collection of songs and tunes from different traditions, including Joe Dolan's 'The Foxy Devil'. That's the Joe Dolan from 'Sweeney's Men', not the falsetto-voiced show band singer. Ó Donoghue does a surprisingly good job of Burns' 'Ae Fond Kiss', because it's rarely properly sung by non-Scots. He's more sense than to try a Scots accent on it, because it's not a dialect song but can be sung in any accent.

I'm not a great fan of most of the lugubrious 'pale blues' song that have come out of the USA, but he makes a good fist of 'Slow Moving Freight Train'. The old favourite, 'The Night Visit', sounds well followed by the old reel, 'The Piper's Chair', accompanied on low whistle by either Leonard Barry or John Kelly (the insert doesn't state which; pity). Other accompaniment is by Siobhán Peoples, Tola Custy, and many others of that talented gang from Ennis, Co. Clare. Pick a favourite track, Mick. It's a toss up between the Tan War ballad, 'The Scariff Martyrs' and Ó Donoghue's own 'Aiobhínn's Waltz'. A great difference between his treatment of the song, accompanied by Barry's uilleann pipes, and the doting love for his granddaughter shown in the waltz. (I understand that only too well; it's the softest part of my own personality.)

This isn't a world-shaking CD; I doubt it'll get much airtime, even in Ireland. But it's one man singing some of his favourite songs with his friends, and I like it.

Mick Furey

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This album was reviewed in Issue 54 of The Living Tradition magazine.