Traditional Irish Music
"Street Angel, House Devil". That's the saying that The House Devils appear to have acquired their great name from, in a long ago reference to Matt Fahey's father from an astute neighbour. Great name for a band that comprises Matt Fahy on guitar, Tradconnect member Mat Walklate on harmonica, flute and uilleann pipes, Andrew Dinan on fiddle and Anthony Haller on double base.
From the outset of this their second album you know you are in for something different with the vocals of Mat Walklate giving a very Americana feeling to the song Awake Awake. It's a song that originated in North Carolina and it fits very well within the album and the music the House Devils play. Crossing the Ocean is an album that mixes traditional Irish music with folk, some of which has the aforementioned American influence. This makes a nice alternative to the purely trad albums and must I would hasten to guess, make for good live music. The instrumental sets on the album are also accomplished and start off with The Cornerhouse / Paddy Taylor's / The Crock of Gold and show Mat Walklate as a flute player of note, in addition to the harmonica with which he is most synonymous. This set kicks off with flute and guitar with fiddle quickly following, and it shows that The House Devils can mix it up with well delivered traditional when required. On The Hearty Boys of Ballynote / Martin Talty's / The Gallowglass they pick a set of jigs that suit the range of the harmonica. They even boldly undertake The Ace & Deuce of Pipering, a tune that many years ago used to terrorise me. Despite Mat's reservations expressed in the album notes and his use of a chromatic harmonica in G, he pulls it off.
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