We recently had the JMB at Downpatrick Folk Music Club and they were in sparkling form. This brilliant CD recaptures the musicianship and charisma of the band with lots of delightful tunes and a few well chosen songs.
Individually the band members are superb and the interesting combination of accordion, mandolin, guitar and double bass is very distinctive and the arrangements are excellent.
Many of Josephine's original compositions are featured (seamlessly) in the sets and as well as the staple reels and jigs (great) there are hornpipes, a waltz, a Carolan tune, a French bouree (gorgeous) and some fantastic Breton dances. Tommy Carew's voice is a rich baritone and his subtle delivery does full justice to Stan Roger's "Lock Keeper" and JJ Cale's "The Rose in the Garden" - refreshingly unusual choices on a trad music CD. If Josephine's accordion is the melodic focal point, Corey's fantastic mandolin threatens to steal the show on "The Abbey Leix" but in general the balance is the key, and Paul O'Driscoll anchors the sound with his warm and mellow acoustic bass. Great fun to listen to and even better to catch live in concert. Highly recommended.