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Lorimer Records LORRCD06

Studio album number four from this popular group, with tunes from around the world and a few cracking traditional and contemporary songs for good measure. The primary vocalist, Teresa Horgan, has a solid delivery on a multitude of genres – her jazz version of Do You Love An Apple is exquisite, while she can tease more emotion out of Trouble In The Fields than you’ll find in the Nancy Griffith original. Guitarist Cillian O’Dalaigh, the sole dude, is a perfect foil to the four ladies, but Fiona Black on accordion is the glue that holds the tunes together. Ailie Robertson contributes stunning harp and Canadian fiddler Mairi Rankin completes the set of more than competent band members.

Delightful as the songs are, it is the tune sets where this band really triumph. From the first set, Drilling, where they manage to glue an Irish, Cape Breton and Scottish tune together seamlessly, to the penultimate track (Jiggery-Polka-Ry), they are pitch perfect and with rock steady tempo (not bad for a band without a rhythm section…). This is where they score, and one of the main reasons that they are so in demand as a live act (mind you they look pretty cool as well). The song Get Me Through December gets two bites of the cherry – an extended version coupled with The Joy of it (a Catriona MacDonald tune) and reprised at the rear in a ‘radio edit’. Both versions merit their place herein. My only slight grumble is that the sleeve directs the listener to the website for lyrics, but I was unable to find any there.

Grem Devlin

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This album was reviewed in Issue 110 of The Living Tradition magazine.