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GERRY O'REILLY 'Down From Your Pulpits,
Down From Your Thrones' CRCD04

The residents of the Goilin Club in Dublin are of deservedly high repute. Gerry O' Reilly is a member and stalwart of this worthy clan.

The 13 tracks are a fine mix of traditional and new "that I've picked up over the years". Gerry's taste is impeccable and he delivers the songs in the no-nonsense, skilful, integrity-infused manner which is his hallmark. He is sensitively accompanied on some tracks by guitar, accordion and concertina and has roped in some of his able "accomplices" from the clan to provide chorus support.

There are many highlights. In particular 'Done With Bonaparte' which I thought was a rare old Napoleonic song. Not so. It is a powerful anti-war song rich in metaphor and contemporary relevance from the pen of Marc Knopfler (Dire Straits) and written circa 2000. Gerry has reset the lyric with great effect, to a traditional Gaelic air. Another cracker is 'Lovers and Friends' from that excellent singer and songwriter, Sean Mone of Co Armagh. Contemporary songs from Mick Fowler and Cyril Tawney are added to this heady brew. Gerry's version of 'The Mantle So Green' via the late Margaret Barry is memorable.

This is a hugely enjoyable and significant piece of work; first class material handled with care and supported by full texts and comprehensive song notes. Check it out.

Geordie McIntyre

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This album was reviewed in Issue 52 of The Living Tradition magazine.