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DRAIOCHT "When the Smoke had Cleared" CBM CBMMC017

This is the second album from Draiocht, a contemporary Irish folk band based in County Kerry. The line-up has changed slightly from the one on their debut album "The Way of the Dreamer". Mary O'Regan has left the band so all the vocals are now the responsibility of Tom Mulcahy. The band also have a new member in the form of Swedish fiddler, Nilla Axlesson.

The album is an interesting mix of original tunes composed by the band's accordion player, Frank Mulcahy, and original songs written by singer/guitarist Tom Mulcahy.

The instrumentals on the album, although original, have a distinctly Irish flavour and allow the individual band members to showcase their music abilities. Probably, due to the fact that he composed them, the tunes heavily feature Frank's excellent accordion playing, but also display the depth of musical talent in the band. "Bull Sweeney's" and "When the Fairies Have A Picnic" are for me the strongest tunes on the album.

Tom Mulcahy's original songs appear to draw more on the contemporary American singer/songwriter genre than anything particularly Irish. I especially likes "It's Too Soon" and "When the Smoke had Cleared", both of which feature some tasteful bass playing by Jimmy Canty and some interesting and original percussion from Marco Smith. If the album gets enough exposure, I wouldn't be surprised to see covers of Tom's songs being added to the repertoires of a number of contemporary folk artistes.

Norman Porter

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This album was reviewed in Issue 12 of The Living Tradition magazine.