(Whirling Discs, 2001)

It's not often that a band of any kind can put together a CD that celebrates ten years of continuous existence, but Dervish, the world-popular Irish traditional band, has done it. Oh, sure, they've had a couple of lineup changes over the years, but that happens and each change serves to re-energize their music.

Decade is Dervish's tenth anniversary celebration. The tracks are taken from all five of the band's previous CDs: Harmony Hill (1993), Playing with Fire (1995), At the End of the Day (1996), Live in Palma (1997) and Midsummer's Night (1999). With two or three tracks from each CD, that makes a generous helping of Dervish's history, with over an hour's worth of music.

Dervish's music ranges from sprightly jigs to introspective airs. Included here are both instrumental pieces and those featuring Cathy Jordan's lovely singing; they alternate so that you can't possibly get bored with the sound, but they never stray from the traditional music that made them popular -- and has won them awards throughout their history. Whether featuring vocals or instruments, the music is toe-tapping irresistable.

Dervish fans will want a copy of Decade for its history value. For those who are unfamiliar with the group and not sure where to start, Decade is an excellent introduction.

[ by Laurie Thayer ]
Rambles: 24 November 2001

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