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GOITSE - Inspired By Chance

GOITSE - Inspired By Chance
Private Label GSECD4

Album number four from this Irish acoustic band, and it’s a wee cracker. Áine McGeeney is a fine vocalist with a subtlety of phrasing that is a delight to hear, particularly on The Hills Of Sweet Lislea and Ireland’s Green Shore. Her contributions on fiddle are also vital to the tune sets, especially Houdini. Her fellow musicians include Tadhg Ó Meachair on piano and accordion and James Harvey on banjo who drive the tune sets along with vigour. My particular favourite set is entitled Banjoman Button, which is Harvey’s nickname, and on which he shines like a musical beacon. Throughout, the guitar playing of Conal O’Kane gives the sets a backbone, along with the rhythmic foundation of Colm Phelan on bodhrán.

An Bonnán Buí is an interesting tale of a yellow bittern who is dying of thirst due to a frozen pond, and an alcoholic who encounters said bird and considers his own relationship with drinking (but ultimately decides against abstinence as there will be no such pleasures in the afterlife).

The closing two sets, from which the album gains its title, round off this album nicely, and again showcase James Harvey’s fab banjo expertise, and Meachair’s piano accordion equally. Half of the tracks feature guest Martin Brunsden on double bass and he fills the space brilliantly.

Mostly performing in US and mainland Europe, I haven’t seen Goitse live, but would happily travel a distance to see them. It’s looking to be a first class year for Irish acoustic music. I’m more than happy with that. Bring ‘em on…

Grem Devlin

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This album was reviewed in Issue 115 of The Living Tradition magazine.