2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Patrick Street's Best !,
This review is from: No. 2 Patrick Street (Audio CD)
This is one of the finest folk/trad releases of the last 25 years. This Irish "supergroup" (only one of whom, Jackie Daly, was actually born in the Republic) here combine 4 great songs with brilliant instrumentals where each of the 4 players were at their absolute peak. Andy Irvine,who seldom disappoints, provides 4 magnificent songs and for the second cd running sings about cross-dressing(!), this time it's a version of "William Taylor" which in other versions is called "Billy Taylor". "The Braes of Moneymore" and "Tom Joad" are 2 more classic folk-songs and "Facing the Chair" is another weighty political story of social injustice. Irvine also provides various string accompaniment (and mouth organ from time to time).
The real instrumental prowess come from Daly and Kevin Burke (one of the great fiddlers in Irish music) and the record ends with a tune he's recorded previously "Sweeney's Reel" which I believe is from County Sligo. Neighbouring County Leitrim was home place to the composer of the opening tune,John McKenna. The London-born Burke is the absolute master of the Sligo style of fiddle-playing and his interplay with Jackie Daly was one of the most thrilling partnerships in Irish music. "Benton's Jig/Dream" is a fine example of their unassuming playing with a lovely switch to an almost Appalachian style in the second tune - augmented by Irvine's harmonica. The jig set starting with the Caherlistrane Jig is masterful with a superb arrangement and it's followed by an equally impressive set of reels with Arty McGlynn's driving rhythm and melody guitar propelling things nicely.
There are no extreme tempos here as the music is given maximum chance to speak for itself and this entire album makes for a lovely listening experience that will appeal to music lovers far beyond Ireland's shore. I'd recommend this to anyone wanting to get a flavour of Ireland's rich musical heritage.