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New Irish and Related Music Releases March 2001

A FIG FOR A KISS. Providence. RORICD 002. Excellent second album from the popular traditional group. Fiddler Maeve O’Hare has been replaced by Clodagh Boylan, but otherwise the personnel remain the same, with John Wynne on flute, Mícheál Ó Raghallaigh on concertina/accordion, Paul Doyle on guitar/bouzouki and Joan McDermott on vocals.

SLIABH NOTES. Matt Cranitch, Dónal Murphy and Tommy O’Sullivan. KM 9506. Great Sliabh Luachra music from experienced players, although the songs are not traditional. This, their first album has been unavailable for a number of years.

THE IRISH LOW WHISTLE. Joe McKenna. SHCD 78043. Joe is probably best known as a piper, but here he plays low whistles made by a variety of people. He is accompanied by, among others, Mary Bergin, John Doyle, Donnchadh Gough, Antoinette McKenna and Trevor Hutchinson.

TRAVELLIN’ PEOPLE FROM IRELAND. Margaret Barry and Pecker Dunne. EMCD 8001. This album consists of two LPs from the 1970s, and was available previously but withdrawn. Many of the songs Margaret sings have been recorded by her elsewhere, but it is worth it for Pecker’s contribution - some traditional and some autobiographical songs.

THE CLERGY’S LAMENTATION. Donal Maguire. MUSCD 002. Donal is originally from Drogheda. He sings and plays banjo and mandolin. This album, a good selection of traditional songs and music, some from Ireland, some from England.

AR BHRUACH AN tSULÁIN. The Abbey Céilí Band. CDLEA 2001. One of the leading céilí bands in Munster takes us through a selection of sets – The Corofin Plain Set, The Borlin Set, The Caledonian and The Ballyvourney Jig Set.

STORYTELLERS. Various artists. GRACD 298. A compilation of songs with a strong narrative content from artists such as Janis Ian, Emmylou Harris, Eliza Carthy, Sandy Denny, Kate Rusby and more.

THE MONKS OF THE SCREW TRIO. MKS 003. Newmarket in County Cork is at the heart of Sliabh Luachra, and in Scully’s pub there the resident musicians are The Monks of The Screw. Two fiddles and a flute making natural music as robust and healthy as it comes.

THE BALLYDESMOND POLKA. Dan Herlihy and John Drew. DHJDCD 001. More Sliabh Luachra music, well played on accordion and mando-cello.

THE IRISH CONCERTINA. Mick Bramich. DMPCD 9601. These are audio versions of the tunes included in the tutor book of the same name. They will give an idea of how the tunes should sound. A good idea if you’re working from the book.

IRELAND’S FINEST REBEL BALLADS. Various artists. CDCELTS 1001. Interesting, but infuriating for its lack of dates and documentation. Some vintage performances from the sixties ballad boom. When did you last hear names like Maeve Mulvaney, The Folkstones or The Glenfolk Four? And did you ever in your life hear a song called The Lonely Banner Strand?

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