Traditional Irish Music
JigJam are the latest in a number of crossover artists that are combining elements of Irish and American genres to great effect. Groups like We Banjo 3, The Henry Girls, I Draw Slow and others have paved the way. At a time when traditional music can struggle for a live audience, artists whose musical interests lie beyond pure trad can find wider commercial acceptance by mixing it up a little. Oh Boy! is one such album, and is a very confident debut that everyone can buy into. The musicians, Jamie Keogh, Dáithí Melia and Cathal Guinan may even have surprised themselves with the final product. This is after all a debut by three musicians whose profile prior to this would not have been high.
Everything hums along at an infectious pace. The tracks both instrumental and vocal are not some pale imitation of what a crossover traditional bluegrass artist might sound like. There is a confident authority to the vocals of Jamie McKeogh and he goes a long way towards making the material his own. They cover a lot of ground over 13 tracks including songs by Old Crow Medicine Show, Richard Thompson and the recent Vance Joy song called ‘Riptide’. Instrumentally there are jigs, reels and hornpipes but they are secondary to the folk and bluegrass material. JigJam are a new force on the music scene. Others will follow and they will have to reach the same high levels of production and delivery to succeed.
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