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Jim McFarland A Taste of Tradition

JIM MACFARLAND A Taste of Tradition: Mountain Streams
Jo Sem Recordings JSCD01

Jim MacFarland is a standard bearer who has immersed himself in collecting and singing. He is a stalwart of the famed Goilin Singers Club of Dublin, individually impressive and collectively formidable; great ambassadors for Irish song. Surprisingly, this is Jim's first album, however, it is well worth the wait. He does full justice to what is a fine selection and is aided, for good measure, by contributions from daughters Orla and Maria and son Seumas. His Royal Blackbird - a beautiful Irish Jacobite piece, both in text and elaborate wide-compass tune - is sung superbly as is the equally challenging Mountain Streams, which he handles with skill, sensitivity and individuality. The latter is, of course, from the singing of Brigid Tunney and her son Paddy and Jim is rigorous in his acknowledgements of these worthy sources of inspiration and shining example. Another fine song, long associated with Paddy Tunney is Lough Erne Shore, delivered in sure-footed style by Jim and son Seamus. Other highlights include The Banks of the Bann and the brooding, atmospheric, downright creepy, Reynardine. The album is enhanced by full texts, helpful prefaces by Jim and scholarly notes from the eminent folklorist/collector Tom Munnelly. In short: a fine album from a Journeyman of song.

Geordie McIntyre

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This album was reviewed in Issue 61 of The Living Tradition magazine.