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World Music CD Reviews Celtic & Irish

THE ROUGH GUIDE TO IRISH MUSIC

By Ken Micallef
Published September 27, 2005

World Music Network

This spirited collection seeks to join the past, present and possible future of Irish music together in the usually inimitable Rough Guide style. By most counts it succeeds, representing the country’s diverse talents from famous artists like Paul Brady, Matt Molloy and Altan to bold newcomers. Compared to many nations where traditional music is often pushed aside in favor of the latest fad, ritual, folklore and its musical equivalent are alive and well in Ireland, the young revitalizing older styles and making them their own. Tradition can easily turn into clichéd banality, but not here: Lasairfhiona Ni Chonola’s “Paidin’s Wife” is a simple vocal/bodhran performance that resonates like an ancient nursery rhyme, Flook’s “Pressed For Time” bounces madly like a drum and bass jig, the Prodigal’s “Morning After” matches bright harmonies with Jaco-inspired electric bass.