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FIL CAMPBELL - Songbirds Part Two: Farewell to Cold Winter

FIL CAMPBELL - Songbirds Part Two: Farewell to Cold Winter
Glenshee Records GSR002

This is the second album of songs derived from a RTE TV series, which sadly didn’t air here in Scotland - or at least to my knowledge. Anyway, on the basis of this collection I appear to have missed a most entertaining programme. Most of the songs are familiar Irish Folk Club and session fare, with a couple of Scots crossover offerings shoehorned in for good measure.

Some songs are familiar to me under other guises – for example The Bonny Boy is obviously a different reading of The Trees They Do Grow High, and Down By The Green Bushes is a variation on the Claudy Banks theme – with a much more daring ending (perhaps aimed at a different audience altogether). The triumph from my point of view is her compelling version of She Moved Through The Fair, a song which I had thought done to death a long time ago, but FC breathes new life into it here, with lovely guitar accompaniment from Brendan Emmett to this normally unaccompanied ballad.

Significant mention must be made of John Sheahan’s fiddle on Johnny The Daisy and the typically understated bass of James Blennerhasset throughout. The Connemara Shore is a lovely traditional song she gained from listening to a recording by Jack Feeney, and takes me back to holidays past in that neck of the woods (which is a bit of a joke as there’s not a lot of trees there…).

I look forward to catching this lady as she tours this Autumn – especially if she brings her mates with her, as heard here!

Grem Devlin

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This album was reviewed in Issue 89 of The Living Tradition magazine.