Legacy,
Navan
(self-produced, 1998)

There is an important thing to remember about live performances. They're as much about attitude and showmanship as they are about the music being played. And, while the musicianship of Legacy is beyond reproach, they need to work on their stage presence.

The band is Justin Murphy (flute, bamboo flute, whistle, low whistle), Beth Patterson (bouzouki), Don Penzien (guitar, whistle, low whistle) and Valerie Plested (fiddle). Patterson and Penzien also provide solid vocals on several tracks.

Navan is a live album recorded in 1998 at Fenian's Pub in Jackson, Miss. While the music is great throughout this 13-track CD, the band earns low marks for showmanship. Their presence on-stage is demonstrated by bored-sounding thanks to the audience when they applaud. I'm sorry, but when the musicians sound bored, the audience is going to be hard-pressed to maintain its interest, and it certainly has a dulling effect on the album.

With that caveat out of the way, I have nothing but praise for Legacy's music. The album is packed with fairly straightforward arrangements of traditional Irish tunes, and the band serves up note-perfect renditions. There's nothing startlingly new about the performance, but anyone who likes Irish music will enjoy Navan.

[ by Tom Knapp ]
Rambles: 8 July 2001