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Kevin MacLeod is the mandolinist from Scots band The Occasionals and he likes to think of his recordings as being ‘a dialogue between musicians.’  That is most certainly what is going on here, and it’s a lively, sometimes intense dialogue where the notes are often metaphorically rattled off like words spoken at a racking pace.  And the bright, beautiful, detailed sound of the mandolin always ensures that the conversation is fun and highly articulate. 
Kevin is joined by De Dannan’s Alec Finn, Orcadian Kris Drever (now the proud owner of a Horizon Award), and Tasmanian Luke Plumb (of Shooglenifty fame), and their combined musicianship provides outrageously good listening.  Kevin’s longstanding friendship with Alec Finn is certainly enhanced by these newer acquaintances in a superbly enjoyable recording that offers the listener a cracking selection of tunes from Scotland and Ireland.  The jigs and reels absolutely stand out to me, tunes like Norminator Reels, Robert MacDonald’s Jigs, Shetland Reels and more.  There are waltzes and hornpipes too – plenty of rhythmic variety here.
It’s a brilliant celebration of stringed instruments  – mandolin, resonator mandolin, octave mandolin, tricone resonator tenor guitar, bouzouki and guitar spar, jostle and dance throughout.  Recommended without hesitation.
Debbie Koritsas

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This album was reviewed in Issue 78 of The Living Tradition magazine.