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MACHA - An Tid Thu Leam?

MACHA - An Tid Thu Leam?
Private Label WKPFCD004

Macha are a group of pupils from the Armagh Pipers Club who, along with some of their young teachers, have recorded this album of songs they have learned during their time at the club. The songs are mainly Irish, both in English and Gaelic, but there are also some from the Scottish tradition and two from the pen of songwriters Tommy Sands and Ewan MacColl.

There are some lovely voices here and some accomplished musicianship accompanying the songs. Mostly singing as a group, though allowing individuals to take their turn to shine, the recording shows how these youngsters are carrying on the great tradition of singing that is so prevalent in the north of Ireland. During the year, the club provides master classes with singers from all over Ireland and Scotland and the influence of these mentors is clearly rubbing off.

There’s a lovely version of Once I Loved with a simple guitar accompaniment, a nice group working of Tommy Sands’ brilliant County Down, a gorgeously sung rendition of The Braes Of Moneymore and an unaccompanied harmony-laden version of Ó Luaidh learned from Scotland’s Kathleen MacInnes.

The Armagh Pipers Club has always had a great reputation for teaching traditional music and this recording proves just how well they do it. It is a good example of what can be achieved when you place enthusiastic learners in the hands of the right teachers. If there is any sense in the world, people will be flocking to join.

Fiona Heywood

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This album was reviewed in Issue 100 of The Living Tradition magazine.