Pale, Stout & Amber,
Pale, Stout & Amber
(independent, 2004)

There are only 10 tracks on Pale, Stout & Amber, but combining the length of tracks and quality of performance, you still get excellent value.

Art Mize and Robert Tincher, also going by the name Pale, Stout & Amber, open with "Paddy Fahey's Reels" to demonstrate the quality of their playing. Then, to show that their vocal abilities are just as impressive, have a listen to "Slieve Gallion Braes," a song that too many people have heard a few times too often to appreciate properly. Here the sensitive rendition brings us the true depth and sensitivity of the song.

A set of polkas includes "I'll Tell Me Ma," along with some original compositions. We then get all seven minutes, 17 seconds of "Planxty Fanny Power," and it is not a millisecond too long.

The Christy Moore version of "The Cliffs of Dooneen" is forever imprinted on our minds. Well, move over Christy because this is a slightly different version learned from an English singer -- and it is excellent. The lads do a similar restoration job on "Fir a Bhata." Whether playing lively instrumentals or belting out "General Guinness," this band has a fervour, matched by ample ability, to raise old songs and tunes to their former glory.

by Nicky Rossiter
21 January 2006

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