Album Review - The Magic Square / Isn't anyone going to stop them?

The Magic Square features a number of Boston musicians that ran into each other when playing in the thriving trad scene that exists in that city. The group are Dan Isaacson, Elliot Grasso, Aaron Olwell, Dave Cory and Ted Davis. With this album they have made the distance between Boston and Dublin very short indeed. They show that they can tap into the heart of the music and capture its true essence no matter what the distance. Although it was recorded some years ago, to me it is fresh and new and just as relevant.

Every track is a delight with pipes and fiddle reminding me of that other great album by Todd Denman and Dale Russ, Reeds and Rosin, that I so loved for the interplay of those two instruments. We have it here in abundance as well with each player respectful of the other and conscious of what is happening within the music.The track arrangements also use a variety of instruments with pipes and fiddle on Barrell Rafferty's/The Highlander Who Kissed His Granny/The First Day of Spring and then bodhrán and flute taking over on Wednesdays At The Hon/Mick Flaherty's. On The Home Ruler /Ms. McCloud's we have banjo and a beautiful deep resonant melodeon.

And on and on we go with every track worthy of note including a great banjo and guitar hop jig called The Project/The Flooded Road To Glenties. No need either for all musicians to crowd in on every track and create a wall of sound. The Magic Square offers a restrained and delightful approach to their music and it is all the more appealing for that. This is a fantastic debut album packed full of great traditional Irish music showing the talent that exists in Boston and other major Irish centres across the US.


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