Link to Living Tradition Homepage





CALADH NUA - Honest To Goodness

CALADH NUA - Honest To Goodness
Private Label CN003

A fitting title for a fresh third album from this young Irish band. The line-up is still unchanged, a compact five-piece with Derek Morrissey on B/C box, Colm O'Caoimh and Eoin O'Meachair on guitar and banjo, and the twin fiddles of Paddy Tutty and Lisa Butler, who also provides lead vocals. The mix of tunes and songs is tipping gradually in favour of the latter, generally not a good thing in my opinion, but it's hard to find fault with Lisa Butler's five vocal contributions. With her clear gentle voice, Ms Butler's pleasant accents in both English and Irish are well suited to pastoral material: Lough Erne's Shore, An Buachaillin Donn sung mainly in English, Seoladh na nGamhna, and even the more refined Lady Of Loughrea. The final Crackling Radio is a bit of departure, bluegrass banjo underpinning a nicely swung vocal line, and Lisa steps up with a slightly understated delivery.

The seven instrumentals are taken at a steady canter, nothing rash or reckless. Barndances including a version of the American reel Far From Home, reels and jigs with some tasty James Kelly compositions, flings and polkas, and a fine medley of a slip jig and reel with A Thousand Farewells in between for the Steve Tilston fans. Two fiddles, bodhrán, guitar and banjo make a joyful noise, but the volume rises distinctly when the old accordion leaps in, which may be good or bad depending on your view. The playing is spot on, not too tight so you can appreciate the textures and tones of the different instruments, but never a finger out of place. Honest To Goodness certainly doesn't disappoint and brings Caladh Nua back to the forefront of Irish music, which is where they deserve to be. 

Alex Monaghan

Secure On-line mailorder service
Buy this CD online from The Listening Post
The Listening Post is the CD mailorder service of The Living Tradition magazine.
This album was reviewed in Issue 107 of The Living Tradition magazine.