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BLACKEYED BIDDY - "Peace Enjoyment Love & Pleasure"
Greentrax CDTRAX056

Ian Green, the head honcho at Greentrax has an enviable reputation of knowing a good turn when he hears it, and then getting out a recording contract! Blackeyed Biddy have been around for a number of years and this recording certainly made me sit down and listen carefully, as I thought I knew how good they were, but this proved to be even better than I had anticipated. Perhaps it's the guiding hand of producer/mixer/extra fiddler & concertina-player/general good guy Brian McNeill or perhaps it's the Biddies themselves just playing out of their skins, but this all adds up to a splendid performance all around.

Blackeyed Biddy are Lionel McClelland and Kris Koren who between them play a multitude of instruments as well as singing a bit. As well as Brian McNeill, they have Finbar Furey sitting in on a couple of tracks. This is a fine mixture of traditional and modern numbers, several of which were written by Lionel, who combines a keen sense of social justice and historical awareness - his song "Right To Be Free" could have been taken up by the thousands who supported Scottish democracy on the march in Edinburgh last December, while "Silent Majority" chronicles the plight of the people in the face of the politicians - gripping stuff.

No everything's serious, however, with sensitive arrangements of songs such as Andy M Stewart's "Monday Morning" and Davy Steele's "Farewell Tae The Haven".

This is a well-packaged production, with the booklet containing the words of the songs, except, for some reason, "Farewell Tae The Haven" and we have here a good showcase for one of the best working duos in the country. Nice one, lads.

Laurel Potter

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This album was reviewed in Issue 1 of The Living Tradition magazine.