Moving Cloud,
Moving Cloud
(Green Linnet, 1995)

Moving Cloud's second CD, Foxglove, was so note perfect, it was inevitable that I backtrack to see how the Irish quintet fared on their first recorded outing. I'm happy to say there was absolutely no freshman funk -- the band's self-titled debut album is every bit as polished as the second.

This isn't a band to seek out if you're looking for fresh, innovative new interpretations of traditional Irish dance music. Rather, Moving Cloud excels at playing the tunes as they have been intended for several generations. The only downside to that is that an entire album of the stuff -- much less two albums -- begins to blur together just a bit after a while. There's not a lot of variety. But that's not criticism -- if I want to hear a new take on the old tunes, there are plenty of other places to look. No, Moving Cloud knows what it's good at, and the musicians involved must know they're better at it than most on the market.

The band is, as on Foxglove, Paul Brock on button accordion and melodeon, Kevin Crawford on flute and percussion, Manus McGuire on fiddle, Maeve Donnelly on fiddle and viola, and Carl Hession on piano. Guests musicians are Trevor Hutchinson on double bass, Adele O'Dwyer on cello and Garry O'Brian on rhythm guitar.

Moving Cloud boasts 32 tunes in 14 tracks, including a healthy mix of jigs, reels, polkas, flings and other dances.

Pick these albums up and they'll be lovely additions to your traditional music collection. If you're hosting a ceilidh or set dance, you couldn't find a better soundtrack for the event.

[ by Tom Knapp ]

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