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DERVISH - The Great Irish Songbook 

DERVISH - The Great Irish Songbook 
Rounder 00888072085077 

Aimed at a generalist audience, this CD does in fact produce some intriguing and enjoyable moments for those of us who might normally walk past such an apparently middle of the road offering. Predictably, considering its intended market, nearly all the tracks are standards that are familiar well beyond the folk world. Less predictably, many of the songs feature some excellent guest singers, some from beyond the folk genre, and indeed stray into the film world.

It’s a great idea, and most of the time it works; there are exceptions, and these will be down to your individual taste. Personally, I find that Irish (or English) songs performed with a strong US accent don’t work for me – other views are available! However, the guests’ interpretations of the lyrics sometimes bring a fresh spin to familiar songs.

What’s always there is the sheer professionalism of a band that has justifiably maintained its place at the top of the tree for three decades. The accompaniments are invariably very well handled and complement the style of the singer. So, you have a recording with a great variety of singing voices and styles held together by the quality of the musical side – it should sell well.

John Waltham


This review appeared in Issue 130 of The Living Tradition magazine