Four Men & a Dog,
Maybe Tonight
(Hook, 2002)

The only thing missing from this CD is the dog.

Here is a great collection of some of the very best in Irish traditional music played to perfection by some of our top performers. Opening with "Music for a Found Harmonium," it leads us into a wide-ranging selection of styles and genres. The music combines traditional with new compositions.

Kevin Doherty is composer and singer on "I Wanna Ramble," a very jazzy and blues-oriented piece. The whole band then actually does ramble on eastwards for "Rambles in Russia." This combines Irish and Russian sounds to perfection. The even bring along "The Jolly Beggerman." There is more distinctly Irish feel to "The Ashplant Set," a medley of reels.

Back to vocals again then on another Kevin Doherty piece, titled "Maybe Tonight." Although the band is Irish you could feel transported to any southern state of the United States on this lonesome blues track.

The whole CD manages to combine such an array of music that it is hard to believe that it's only 12 tracks.

My favourite is "The Midnight Special," which has the sound and feel of an energetic live recording at the end of a great night with a responsive crowd. There are polka and jig sets that will have you wanting to dance alongside the blues vocals where even the tone deaf will want to sing along.

The CD closes with a beautiful version of "The Last Rose of Summer," an old standard given new life by accomplished musicians who are so obviously enjoying playing with the traditional tune.

This is one of the must-have CDs for aficionados of music, whatever your taste.

- Rambles
written by Nicky Rossiter
published 19 July 2003

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