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DONAL CLANCY - Songs Of A Roving Blade

DONAL CLANCY - Songs Of A Roving Blade
Private Label DCRBCD0123

The Clancy family of County Tipperary has been a huge influence on the Irish tradition for many years and this CD is one Donal, son of Liam, can be justly proud of. Hearing this for the first time, you'd know this voice is from one of the Clancy clan. Donal has a distinct and leisurely singing style, one which should be a lesson to any singer, Irish or otherwise, and this CD is a collection of fairly well-known songs, beautifully sung and tastefully accompanied by some classy players.

The songs may be well known, many drawn from the early folk revival of which Donal’s father Liam was such an important part, but the delivery is full of the same respect his dad had for the tradition. Modern 'folk' supergroups are mainly a mystery to me and while many readers will be aware that Donal has been part of both Solas and Danu, as a 'folk' ignoramus I was very impressed by Donal's style. Mind you, having heard Kathleen McPeake sing Eileen Aroon so beautifully with her harp, I approached track 7 with caution, but what a great job he does on this classic of the Irish tradition!

There are a couple of shanties, but not sung like shanties, if you know what I mean, and An Cruiskin Lan is done with great conviction, with David Power sympathetic and rhythmic on the uilleann pipes. Even such old favourites as Roddy McCorley and Nancy Whiskey are given new life, although maybe this Scots song should require dropping the 'e' in whiskey? Ah no, that's being pedantic, this is a lovely CD and a credit to all concerned.

Jim Bainbridge

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This album was reviewed in Issue 102 of The Living Tradition magazine.