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SEAMUS EGAN - Early Bright 

SEAMUS EGAN - Early Bright 
THL Records THL0003 

There can be little doubt that Seamus Egan is one of the Titans of Irish-American music, being probably best-known over here for his work with the seminal group Solas. He later founded the Seamus Egan Project, which is what we get on this latest release.

Seamus plays banjo, guitar, low whistles, mandolin, keyboard and percussion. He is joined by Owen Marshall, bouzouki, harmonium; Joe Phillips, double bass; Kyle Sanna, guitar, piano lap steel; and Moira Smiley, accordion and vocal. If that’s not enough, then we also have a couple of tracks featuring the Canadian Fretless String Quartet, whose arrangements are by the Scottish harpist Maeve Gilchrist.

The music is nearly all written by Seamus as he draws on inspirations of childhood memories and the need to connect with one another and to be heard (surely things we can, or should, all relate to.) Right from the graceful and elegant opening notes of the title track through to the end, there is a writing and playing style in which every single note has its place, as single melody lines get taken up and augmented until there is a full-blown, complex tune developed. Listen to the Simon Nally Hunt The Buck track to get a particularly fine example of this.

Production and engineering throughout are impeccable, with a superb clarity of tone allowing you to immerse yourself in a real triumph of a CD. Even though Seamus’ reputation is of the very highest, this will elevate it even more.

Gordon Potter


This review appeared in Issue 132 of The Living Tradition magazine