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CHRIS QUINN - Across The Divide

CHRIS QUINN - Across The Divide
Rhythm and Roots LC50393

For his debut album Chris Quinn has surrounded himself with talented musicians consisting of Dan Cassidy, fiddle; Éamonn Coyne, tenor banjo/tenor guitar; Cormac Byrne, percussion; Larry Melton, double bass. Therefore, it is no surprise that with elements taken from American bluegrass and British folk, the production of Across The Divide excels. However, it is also not surprising, with such an array of fine musicians, that there is a strong Irish influence throughout these mainly original pieces, obviously never more apparent than in the medley arranged by Chris consisting of Jolly Beggar Man, Red Haired Boy and Blackberry Blossom.

Chris’s soft vocal tones complement and embellish the music, but fail to excite and raise the work above that of a conventional rendition of a modern folk performance. This is a CD that has been crafted very well; essentially all of the elements are present, but ultimately, when considered as a whole, one cannot help thinking there could be so much more.

Pittenweem is pleasant enough and would certainly go down well in a folk club. Fly Away has an optimistic central theme concerning itself with the inward creativity and inspiration of all artists - painting, music, writing or whatever their particular discipline happens to be. The conscious decision in The Call Of Home to put the ‘er’ in England becomes more and more of an irritation; in my view a mistake as it is now enshrined within the CD forever.

That aside, for a first album, Across The Divide stands up very well and is certainly a CD which I am sure many folkies will enjoy immensely.

John Oke Bartlett

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This album was reviewed in Issue 112 of The Living Tradition magazine.