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Sunday, 3 April 2011

Patrick Street - Irish Times

Special Delivery (SPD 1033, 1990)

A much sought-after slice of vinyl from the Irish supergroup, featuring the seemingly ubiquitous Music for a Found Harmonium (if you've not heard it as background music on a range of TV shows in the past year or two, then you mustn't watch much telly!).  The music is great, and brilliantly performed - as you'd only expect from these luminaries: Andy Irvine on vocals, harmonica, mandolin and bouzouki; Kevin Burke on fiddle; Gerry o'Beirne on vocals and guitars;James Kelly on fiddle; Declan Masterson on uilleann pipes, low whistle and keyboards; Jackie Daly on accordion; Arty McGlynn on guitar; and Bill Whelan on keyboards.  Sheer class - and it sounds just wonderful on vinyl.

Track Listing
  • Music for a Found Harmonium
  • Brackagh Hill
  • Brian o'Lynn - The Woods of Old Limerick
  • Strokestown
  • The Newmarket Polkas
  • A forgotten Hero
  • Doorus Mill/The Rolling Reel/The Ballygow Reel/Dennis Murphy's Reel
  • In the Land of the Patagarange
  • Boston o'Connor/John Gaffney's Fling/The Kerryman's Fling
  • The Humours of the King of Ballyhooley

Micheal o'Suilleabhain - Oilean/Island

Virgin (VE 40, 1989)

A very unusual album, this - featuring as it does an adventurous mix of Ireland's finest traditional musicians in several original pieces of contemporary orchestral music (plus one trad/arr) by pianist and composer o'Suilleabhain, who is now Professor of Music at the University of Limerick.  This is no lame new-age crossover music, but sparky, rhythmic stuff which makes richly imaginative use of all the musical palettes at the composer's disposal.  At times it's reminiscent of Chick Corea, at others, it's like Bill Whelan's best work with Davy Spillane and in Riverdance.  The core piece on side 2 is "Oilean/Island" a suite in 3 movements.  Musicians on the album include: Matt Molloy on flute; Colm Murphy on bodhran; Mel Mercier on bones; Tony McMahon on accordion; andThe Irish Chamber Orchestra.

Track Listing

  • Heartwork
  • Ah, Sweet Dancer
  • Idir Eatarthu/Between Worlds
  • Carolan's Farewell to Music
  • Oilean/Island [suite]
    • 1st Movement
    • 2nd Movement
    • 3rd Movement
  • Ah, Sweet Dancer

High Level Ranters - Northumberland For Ever

Topic (12T186, 1968)

Tyneside's High Level Ranters were among the most innovative bands on the 1960s traditional folk scene: one of the first groups to give equal weight to songs and instrumental dance tunes.  The line-up on this album is like a who's who of North Eastern folk music at the time: Johnny Handle on vocals, accordion, guitar and piano; Colin Ross on fiddle, whistle, Northumbrian pipes and jews harp; Foster Charlton on fiddle and Northumbrian pipes; Tom Gilfellon on vocals and guitar; and Alistair Anderson on English concertina.  Recorded by Bill Leader and with sleeve notes from no less than A L Lloyd, this is an absolutely classic album which will be of interest to all folk fans, whether or not they're familiar with the Northumbrian and Tyneside traditions.

Track Listing
  • Shew's the Way to Wallington/The Peacock Followed the Hen
  • The Sandgate Girl's Lament/Elsie Marley
  • Bellingham Boat/Lambskinnet
  • Adam Buckham
  • Meggy's Foot
  • The Lads of North Tyne/The Redesdale Hornpipe
  • The Hexhamshire Lass
  • The Breakdown/Blanchland Races
  • The Lads of Alnwick/Lamshaw's Fancy
  • Byker Hill
  • Whinham's Reel/Nancy
  • Because he was a Bonny Lad/Salmon Tails up the Water/Sweet Hesleyside
  • Dance to Your Daddy
  • Billy Boy
  • Nae Guid luck aboot the Hoose
  • Mi' Laddie Sits Ower Late Up
  • The Keel Row/Kafoozalum/The Washing Day