Traditional Irish Music
Portherhead are the latest in a line of young, energetic traditional groups that mix some high energy traditional music with what could be considered non traditional songs. This divergence into more contemporary material reflects more accurately the music that people are actually listening to. We had it recently with Socks in the Frying Pan, Tonnta Ceoil and Clare band Crag Road also delved into some modern material. Portherhead take a more bluesy route with their song choices, and it must be said that trad and blues sit very well together. This may also help on the live circuit where most groups these days make their living. Portherhead will no doubt find a welcoming audience. The band comprises Liam King (accordion), Joe Junker (guitar/vocal), James Frawley (concertina/vocals),Lorcán Brady (fiddle/pipes) and Paul Mc Clure(bodhrán/percussion).
There are a lot of albums on release at the moment, and in the main the musicianship of those involved is unquestionably high. On the traditional tracks they have energy, creativity and a near rebellious swagger to their music. The tracks have a broader and more modern sound to accompany their energetic arrangements. I particularly like the blues orientated songs Key to the Highway and Crow Jane. They sit very well with traditional music as does the beautiful Tide by Joe Junker. Portherhead are a band with immense potential. They have produced a beautifully balanced recording with some interesting and well integrated song choices. It is upbeat, engaging and will prove very effective in a live setting.
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