I received my package a couple of days ago and sorely wanted to leave it until the Big Man had been on Christmas Eve but unfortunately my family unit are staying with my mother this year (following the loss of my dad a few months ago) and she doesn’t do music unless it’s an “artist” at their social club so will have no access to the turntable after this evening and so....
I was like a small boy tearing at the tape on the package hoping inside lay The Millennium Falcon.
And so I reveal the gifts bestowed upon me
Inspired by Folkishienne’s Folk & Singer Songwriter chart a few years back I opened my ears to the folk world and so straight away on went the Andy Irvine & Paul Brady.
Guitars, mandolins, bouzouki, fiddles, bodhran and hurdy-gurdy’s sound just the ticket for a cold wintery day.
If I wasn’t driving later then a larger snifter of Niepoort Ruby Dum would accompany this oh so well on such a windy evening.
Opening track Plains Of Kildare sets out at a nice rhythm and tempo for the rest of side 1 which culminates in the standout track of the album for me because you can literally feel the passion - Arthur McBride.
Onto side 2 and I’m loving Autumn Gold and Streets Of Derry which is as you would expect for this album a more traditional version than the Trees version I’m used to but that’s no bad thing.
All in all it reminds me of a blustery Christmas / New Year I once spent in a cottage in Inch, County Kerry watching the waves roll in onto the beach, listening to some traditional music I had picked up in Killarney and trying some of the black stuff. Very good memories.
And so onto the second selection – Sweet Smoke – Just A Poke
Flipping over onto the rear cover of this and then consulting the centre labels I get a bit worried.
1 track per side….
16 minutes each….
Instruments listing sax, bass drums, percussion…
Am I about to be lead into some mad Jazz world I know nothing off?
But I am not to be worried. Baby Night starts of with a nice mellow flute intro before kicking up a groove about 6 minutes in to some lovely guitar work before heading into a Doors ‘Soft Parade’ inspired section for a good few minutes before returning back to that flute to take us home.
On the flip side Silly Sally it takes a bit to get going into some funky wah guitar melting into a suitably groovy bass lines then we arrive at drum solo including full use of every percussion instrument ever made or sounds like they tripped into a Gamelan mid song before eventually winding down to a ‘lets have a group jump for the last note’ moment.
Side 1 is the winner but over all I likes it!
Thank you Secret Santa
This is far better than The Millennium Falcon