The Banks of Newfoundland
(self-produced, 2005)

On The Banks of Newfoundland we get a baker's dozen of great traditional songs and tunes alongside a few newly or not so newly written pieces in the traditional style. The members of Inishowen and some guests perform them with gusto.

They open with the title track before going on to a pared-down performance of "Jolly Roving Tar." Dance music is to the fore on the album with French-Canadian reels, English country dance tunes and Northumbrian pieces on offer. The band also gives us a beautiful rendition of the fabulous "Neil Gow's Lament on the Death of his Second Wife."

Apart from bringing us well-known pieces this CD is a revelation of other song and tune forms. "Appalachian Round" reveals a wonderful hymn singing style from the region. This is followed by three tunes in a set of "ragtime era" inspired by African-American fiddlers.

No album featuring traditional music would be complete without a Carolan tune, and here we get "Planxty Fanny Power" played to perfection. Next, Inishowen combines "Mursheen Durkin" with three polkas to great effect. Then, having opened on the Newfoundland Banks, they close proceedings with "Farewell to Nova Scotia."

by Nicky Rossiter
13 January 2007

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