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The Queen’s Lover

Fellside Recordings FECD251

A debut album from yet another duo of talented young folk musicians emerging from the current scene, and as is becoming a regular occurrence, Fellside is to be credited for picking them up and showcasing them to good effect.

Of the 15 tracks here, four are tunes (mostly Irish), and the rest are a mix of traditional songs, songs written by themselves or members of their families, and songs from the pens of other well-renowned folk singers. Mick Ryan’s Love Is Life, well known and well sung around clubs and festivals, is done nicely, as is The Dancing by Andy Shanks and James Russell. All the songs are accompanied on guitar, bouzouki and fiddle, with Linda Adams’ subtle concertina adding to the mix occasionally.

The joy of this album is its simplicity. Greg and Ciaran are not trying to be different or clever, and the arrangements are not overly complicated or fussy - it is just good music speaking for itself.

Greg is a fine, sensitive singer, and at 19, he sounds much older than his years. His guitar accompaniments are thoughtful and don’t dominate when they shouldn’t. At only 16, Ciaran is an accomplished fiddler, with an ear for a good tune. Together they create a sound that is refreshingly down-to-earth, and as they are only at the start of their musical journey, it will be good to see how they progress with a few years experience under their belts.

One’s to watch for sure!

Fiona Heywood

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This album was reviewed in Issue 93 of The Living Tradition magazine.