The Poozies,
Changed Days, Same Roots
(Greentrax, 2003)

We once had a veterinary product in Ireland and the advertising tag was "quare name but great stuff." I hope that the Poozies will forgive me comparing them to an animal remedy, but I do it in the best possible taste. The name of this group fascinates me, but the music enthralls and then I forget about the name.

Over 11 tracks this female quartet displays a wide range of interests, influences and talents. Like many of our greatest folk outfits they have evolved through changing line-ups, and I think they have just about reached a pinnacle -- but as we know in this music, we never know what delights await.

If anyone wants to pick one track on this CD to check it out or to have their horizons broadened try No. 4. The title is "All I Want" and if you think that rings a bell, hum the words. Yes, it is a fantastic folk version of a Lerner & Lowe song from the musical My Fair Lady. But be warned, these fair ladies have taken a beautiful, well-loved song, "Wouldn't It Be Loverly," and made a brand new classic. They heard Rosanne Cash sing a version years ago, and this is their interpretation.

The album is worth the price just for this track, so the other 10 are excellent bonuses. These include a mixture of new and traditional tunes and songs. The Poozies' interpretation of the older tunes gives them a beautiful new light touch and they show an impish sense of humour with some of the medleys. I like the set "Daniel's Potatoes," with a lovely end piece of "mouth music" about the spud called Buntata.

They play a lovely waltz called "Lila" that combines a tune from Sweden called "Liten Vals" with "Julia's Waltz." They bring us back to the sad reality of modern life with the Colum Sands song, "Throw the Ball." This one of those songs that, with a gentle delivery, does more to give us an idea of how life must have been in Belfast between 1970 and 2000 than a hundred Wolfe Tones albums. As with most of Sands' music, it is not a polemic against one side -- he gives all participants food for thought.

The CD concludes with six minutes-plus track called "Paddy," with "My Dad Paddy," "Motorway Mazurka" and "The Red Jacket."

This is a new CD to seek out and enjoy. I still don't know what a "poozie" is and now I don't care. I just want to enjoy Poozie music.

- Rambles
written by Nicky Rossiter
published 30 August 2003