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DANÚ - Buan

DANÚ - Buan
Private Label DANU2015

The rebirth of Danú is one of the most heartening sights in Irish traditional music circles. With a revised sense of purpose and mission, the Waterford based quintet are kicking into gear with their latest release, Buan. The audience is behind them too, as Buan reached No 1 in the Irish iTunes chart before the album hit the shops.

Only two original members, Eamon Doorley and Benny McCarthy, are joined by fiddler Oisin McAuley, guitarist and singer Dónal Clancy and lead vocalist Muireann Nic Amhlaoibh, who also plays a mean flute and whistle. Some part-time and ex Danúites - Tom Doorley and Donnchadh Gough - lend a hand also, and production is in the capable hands of Dónal Lunny.

Musically, the lightness of touch accorded to box, flute and fiddle with a stringed backing allows Danú to create an immediacy and the buoyancy of sets like the Kerry To Donegal Set and the Chicago Set, and the gentle roll of Donnchadh Gough’s pipes on the Tuamgraney Castle set stand out, with their quick fire exchanges and flourishing intergroup dynamics suggesting a band reborn. Vocally, Muireann Nic Amhlaoibh holds court on both Gaelic and English songs, the former gleaned from her native West Kerry along with the epic ballad Lord Gregory and John Spillane’s Passage West, her warm floating vocals cascading through the storylines. Dónal Clancy contributes a rousing Willie Crotty. Donal Lunny’s production has a pin pricked precision that highlights everything that is good within the collective talents herein. If reinvention is the name game on Buan – Danú has remerged lean, mean and fighting fit – would you want it any other way? I thought not.

John O’Regan

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This album was reviewed in Issue 109 of The Living Tradition magazine.