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STOUT - Undaunted 

STOUT - Undaunted 
Liekedeler LIECD19053 

When was it when there was a fairly sudden explosion of Irish-themed pubs on four continents? It must have been the late 80s / early 90s. Suddenly there was a lot of musicians playing the sort of repertoire that is heard here - Whiskey In The Jar, The Holy Ground, Roddy McCorley, etc. Stout consists of two Germans, Mario and Simon, and their gig archive shows that these pubs on the continent are their natural habitat.

The best thing about this album is some nifty banjo playing by Simon, but there is quite a number of elements in the album that do not reach the mark. The singing is distinctly ordinary and, particularly when harmonies are being attempted, there is a tendency not to hit all the notes. The arrangements are fairly obvious and the chordal accompaniments to the tunes are a bit hit and miss.

The low points of the album are the inappropriate rhythm used to deliver The Star Of The County Down and the positively turgid near ten minutes of Town I Love So Well. The final track is probably the best; a slowed down Whiskey In The Jar brings some originality to the interpretation.

John Conolly is no longer surprised when his most famous composition turns up in an Irish-styled album, but at least he is credited as composer this time. Scottish song enthusiasts will be surprised at the inclusion of MacPhersons Lament and The Term Time. All together now - "Fine Girl You are!"

Vic Smith


This review appeared in Issue 134 of The Living Tradition magazine