various artists,
Drag Lines:
New Irish Traditions

(Blues Sun, 2000)

Subtitled "New Irish Traditions," this double CD is a major addition to the canon of folk music and does not confine itself to the Emerald Isle. The singers range from the well known to new talents and the songs from traditional to newly written material.

Dolores Keane opens the proceedings with the title track, written by Debrough Silverstein, that will touch any listener with the lyrics and the delivery. Barrowside provides a beautiful rendition of "The Bohemian" by group members Maria and Bob Van Son.

My favourite track is from Martin Donnelly. Called "Flute of Ebony," I defy anyone not to be moved by the combination of voice and lyrics, "playing reels to send you spinning, airs to make you sigh."

There are songs and tunes here to suit all tastes, provided you have good taste in music. You get Arty McGlynn, Donal Lunny, Kieran Halpin and more spread over 33 tracks that will make you laugh, weep and dance by turn. To show its universal appeal it closes with Dolores Keane singing the fantastic song "Lili Marlene."

This CD may prove slightly elusive but it will be worth the effort to track it down if only for the combination of performers on offer.

- Rambles
written by Nicky Rossiter
published 13 March 2004

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