Crag Road concentrate on the presentation of sweet melodies and simple arrangements as they deliver a great debut, that recreates the sound of the late night sessions that brought them together.  The band features Eoin O’ Neill on bouzouki, Quentin Cooper on fiddle, banjo, vocals and mandolin, Aoibheann Quelly on concertina and whistle and Nóirin Lynch on vocals and bodhrán. In advance of this debut album, they released a great video of one of the tracks. The video ( included below ) which was filmed and edited in the corner of one of their local pubs caught our eye and we did a follow up interview with Nóirin Lynch about the band and their music. The band themselves describe their approach as interesting and fresh, and that definitely comes across on the recording. Clean lines and sweet melodies define the approach. It’s not over produced and its sense of authenticity is perfectly captured on the reels Larry’s Favourite/The Ravelled Hank of Yarn where concertina and banjo pick their way through the tunes with neither haste nor worry.  They mix it up with concertina and guitar driving some tracks initially and then the group taking up the pace.  For a predominantly string driven ensemble it somehow transcends any potential issues of balance that could arise.  Concertina does take a leading role but never seems to overly impose itself.  They give it a softer bed of accompaniment that complements the simpler structure that they bring to the tunes.  

The band’s desire to produce clean and pure melodies, unencumbered by over ornamentation and over editing, works.  On the vocal side I am also slowly coming to terms with the range of songs being included on traditional albums that could be viewed as outside the tradition.  We have it here again with a Steve Earle song called Sometimes She Forgets with the inclusion of electric guitar.  Other songs by Nóirin such as It’s what you do with what you've got and A Song Alone by Ron Kavana are also different to the usual fare and work quite well.  All in all it’s warm and inviting music that makes a real connection with the listener. Recommended.

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Comment by Olaf Sickmann on August 11, 2014 at 3:58

This music makes happy :-)

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