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Cló Iar-Chonnacht CICD208 

Cló Iar-Chonnacht can be relied on to do a good job producing recordings of sean nos singers, and this time they’ve excelled themselves. I first heard Treasa about 30 years ago and was bowled over by the quality of her singing and her songs, and nothing’s changed. This double CD is, unbelievably, only her second solo recording, but its 19 tracks span her 45-year career and give a fine representation of her repertoire.

Her voice has a youthful energy and a clarity in pronunciation that enables even a southern saxon to follow the story (and all the words appear in an excellent booklet, complete with a bit of background in both languages). Variety is provided by the addition of musical accompaniment on some tracks, by duetting on two more (both feeling very natural), and by a couple of songs in English. These last ones demonstrate how versatile a singer we have here; both the macaronic Siúil A Rún and Lord Gregory are fine examples.

Nearly all the songs in Irish are from her native Aran Islands, the subjects ranging from historical drownings and the humorous vagaries of an early 20th century road building scheme to an air crash in more recent times, and give an insight into the breadth of this island culture – you come away from this recording feeling you’ve had an overview of one aspect of a culture, one that Treasa’s done a great deal to nurture and preserve through a lifetime of dedication. No wonder she’s so highly regarded by the entire Gaelic community; this recording can only enhance an already impressive reputation.

John Waltham


This review appeared in Issue 130 of The Living Tradition magazine