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This Irish quartet has been making a name for itself rather fast over the two short years since its founding. Together, Joe Gibney (vocals, whistle), Brian Corry (tin whistle, flute, fiddle), James Ryan (guitar, bouzouki) and Jean-Christophe Morel (fiddle) make a sound that can best be described as a fresh and healthy blend of the traditional and the contemporary.

From the outset, on their debut CD’s first offering – band-penned tune The Luggites – you know you’re in the presence of four gifted musicians, and you can feel their accomplishment in the confident phrasing and skilled blending of dynamics, which engage the listener right away. There’s a comparable sense of being completely at ease with their instruments and musicianship pervading all five instrumental tracks on the album, which probably needs no further comment beyond recommendation, although I’d be tempted to single out the sensitive bowing on Injee for special mention.

However, on balance I feel that it’s on the disc’s five songs that the Jeremiahs arguably show their strongest hand, especially in the art of arrangement. It helps, of course, that singer Joe has a fine command of range and expression, and that his voice can cope well with a wider range of material than one might expect to encounter in the repertoire of an Irish band. There’s a well-paced take on Dave Sudbury’s perennial narrative The King Of Rome, vibrant renditions of Ewan MacColl’s tribute The North Sea Holes and the shanty Hog’s Eye Man, and for contrast Adam Holmes’ love story Mary, although many will judge the disc’s highlight to be the self-penned Forgotten Sons, a plaintive song of emigration inspired by a documentary on the forgotten Irish in England.

A thoroughly commendable debut disc, whose only (small) failing is the white-on-grey colour scheme chosen for the digipack, which renders the lyrics and track notes less than ideally discernible (at least to these ageing eyes!).

David Kidman

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This album was reviewed in Issue 107 of The Living Tradition magazine.