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The Boys Of The Lough release 22nd Album

Mike Harding | 16:29 UK time, Monday, 26 January 2009

The worst aspect of the job I do is that there's never enough time to get everything in.

At the end of every week I still find myself with a stack of unplayed CDs cursing and moaning that we've run out of time again.

I just wish I had more time so that I could play more of the great stuff that lies there on my CD library shelf.

I was thinking about this the other day, musing on the fact that I haven't played any
tracks by people like Niamh Parsons, Dolores Keane, Martin Carthy or Allan
for a good while when the post arrived, and there amongst the bills and
junk was a new CD from Boys Of The Lough.

For any of you not familiar with the work of the band, they are (dans mon humble) one
of the best traditional bands ever, and I haven't played them nearly enough.

Their new CD, Rise Fawn Gathering, is their 22nd CD as a group (there have
been various solo and duo CDs over the years) and you would think that after 21
albums they ought to know what they are doing - and by gum they do.

The CD is a collaboration between the Boys, Nancy and Norman Blake and James and Rachel Bryan and was first mooted as an idea in 1978 so it only took 30 years to get it together!

Well, like good wine the idea matured over the years and the resulting album is a little classic, very laid back with a real old-timey or Irish sesiún feel to it.

The cover photograph shows all the musicians sitting out on the front porch of Rise
Fawn, the house where the album was recorded and it sounds as though they all had
a great time making the CD - which is the way it should be after all.

I only have one beef to make: there's a great instrumental version of Ned Of The Hill
on the CD with Norman Blake on dobro and just before it there's about a minute of Brendan Begley singing a verse of the song in Irish out in the garden with crickets chirping all around him.

I'd really have loved to hear Brendan singing the song all the way through, he's one of the finest singers in the world.

Ah well, maybe next time.


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