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Lúnasa "The Merry Sisters Of Fate" Green Linnet GLCD1213

This is Lúnasa's third CD; with Cillian Vallely instead of John McSherry on pipes, and without Mike McGoldrick on flute. Nothing has changed very much since their eponymous debut CD; tight playing, good arrangements of old and new tunes. There's a stylish treatment of an Ennis favourite, "The Return From Fingal", that puts a different slant on the old march. "Scully Casey's/The Dusty Miller" work well together, too.

They really do sound like The Bothy Band at times, yet I feel slightly unsatisfied by this one. There doesn't seem to be the old urgency that they used to have; the fire seems to be banked. Perhaps they're concentrating too much on arrangement, instead of letting the music speak for itself. That's not just a grumpy old traditionalist moaning; I've all the time in the world for different treatments of tunes, but this CD is too well-mannered for my liking. It's all good stuff, but I can't help feeling that there's something missing. However, if you like Lúnasa and what they do so well, buy this.

Mick Furey

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This album was reviewed in Issue 44 of The Living Tradition magazine.