Jacket of Batteries
(Harmac, 1998)

DeDannan is one of the best-respected groups playing Irish music today. The group has remained steady in its instrumental composition over the years but has nurtured some of the best singers on the folk circuit. These have included Maura O'Connell, Mary Black, Tommy Fleming and Eleanor Shanley.

Shanley is the vocalist on this CD, which consists of their usual unerring mixture of instrumental and vocal tracks, as well as traditional interspersed with new and popular selections.

"The Call and the Answer" is a most evocative song, which eminently suits the voice of Eleanor Shanley and the deep instrumental backing of the other members led by Frankie Gavin. It's a classic track.

Another song featured from the pen of P. McColough is "Mandela." This is about the life of Nelson Mandela and was written before his release and advance to president. "Mountains of Pomeroy" is a traditional slow air that is unforgettable once heard and DeDannan do it complete justice on this CD.

The group made a tradition out of taking Beatles tunes and giving them a traditional music treatment. On this CD they chose "Eleanor Rigby" and by the time they finish you might swear she as well as Lennon and McCartney hailed from Connemara.

There are 13 tracks on offer here and all are well worth a listen. In particular I recommend the instrumental "Flatbush Waltz," which shows the international appeal of DeDannan.

This is a classic album, which would enhance any music collection.

[ by Nicky Rossiter ]
Rambles: 2 November 2002

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