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BRENDAN POWERTradish Tethnik Records 109

Ah now, Brendan Power. Perhaps I'm a little biased but then again what's left to say about one of the finest musicians on this planet? Years ago I was seduced by 'Genevive' performed by Larry Adler and my admiration for anyone who can handle such a one-dimensional instrument as the harmonica (although I'm sure that there would be one or two musicians out there who would put me straight on that score!) has my utmost respect. As the album title would suggest this is not a strictly traditional outing for 'the moothie' (as our Scottish cousins would have it) but ably demonstrates the diversity in which it can be utilised. With thirteen of the fifteen tracks written by Brendan this is indeed a tour de force and is as much jazz and new age as it is folk. Accompanying him on a variety of guitars are such luminaries as Stephen Cooney, Chris Newman and Ian Carr alongside Gerry O'Connor's tenor banjo and the sweet toned mandolin of Andy Irvine. You see one thing this album proves is that when you are the 'best' you surround yourself with the best and I'm sure all the musicians involved had a real blast. As I'm writing this piece I'm listening to the brilliantly titled 'Sweet Bulgarity' showcasing another musical bridge that has been crossed while Ian Carr's gorgeous accompaniment to 'Farewell To Muswell Hill' transports the listener to yet another genre. Sometimes a reviewer should just let an album speak for itself and trust me this particular one speaks volumes. If you're looking for something a little different I couldn't recommend the album more highly!

Pete Fyfe

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This album was reviewed in Issue 60 of The Living Tradition magazine.