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LIA LUACHRA "Lia Luachra" Malgamu Music MALGCD 112
LIA LUACHRA "Traffic" Malgamu Music MALGCD 114

Lia Luachra are four gifted young musicians (Tricia Hutton, fiddle; Shane Bracken, concertina/piano/bodhran; Declan Corey, mandolin/bouzouki; Jon Hicks, guitar/vocals) who seem to be in the process of developing their own style. Unfortunately, on their debut CD, "Lia Luachra", they seem uncertain as to what that should be. The instrumental tracks are certainly good, but it's only track 3, 'End Of The Day Reels' (a "gan ainm" set), that really excited me. Jon Hicks does a workmanlike version of 'Gypsy Moth', but adds nothing new to it. The other song, 'See It Come Down', just doesn't work for him at all.

Two years on, "Traffic" offers another mixture of old and new instrumentals; some self-composed. Their playing is as competent and confident as before, it's rarely exciting or absorbing. Apart from the 'Charlie's Car' set and 'Piper and the Pony', there's little here to get the feet tapping. The four songs were written by vocalist Jon Hicks, and failed to move me at all although I appreciate the sentiments in them.

Lia Luachra come across to me as well-mannered, disciplined, and pleasant, but they don't have any of the edge that would make them different from any other similarly talented group.

Mick Furey

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This album was reviewed in Issue 40 of The Living Tradition magazine.