This much anticipated release brings together a quartet of musicians who have established outstanding individual reputations on the trad scene. The resultant album is strong both musically and vocally. A distinctive male vocal sets it apart from other releases with Daoirí Farrell’s voice combining robustly with Tom Delany on pipes and whistles, Caroline Keane on concertina and Robbie Walsh on bodhrán. It’s a full force gale of positive energetic music delivered in tight and cohesive arrangements. There is some great interplay between the two principal melody players, with bodhrán and bouzouki taking a back seat when required. This brings the relief necessary to make the arrangements work, and work they do.

The Three Little Drummers/The Queen of the Rushes/Palm Sunday, inspired by Chris Droney and Planxty is a typically pleasing example. Great piping by Delany, followed by a strong input from whistle and concertina. On tracks like The Flags of Dublin they allow pipes and bodhrán to take the lead and concertina to follow. Keane is given ample scope to impress with some articulate solo moments across the recording. As a vocalist Daoirí Farrell’s future is indeed bright, especially in a group context like this where he is supported with a sprinkling of harmonies and some sweet arrangements. Song choices include Farewell to the Gold, The Ludlow Massacre by Woody Guthrie and the unusual Clasped to the Pig which he got from the singing of Tommy McCarthy. This is a very exciting new group with a very impressive debut album. They have all that it takes to make a big impact on the traditional scene. Recommended.

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