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VARIOUS ARTISTS - Treasure Of My Heart CDORBD081

Is the title 'Treasure of my Heart' an attempt to capitalise on the marketing successes of 'Celtic Heart', 'Woman Heart' and 'Trad at Heart'. If so, I wonder what a lot of buyers will think when they buy it. Not that the music isn't good, it's just that unless you know the musicians you may not discover until you open the sleeve that many of the recordings date from pre 1942. The quality of the music on this record highlights one key difference between Ireland and many other countries. In Ireland the tradition has been continued not revived. Listening to the music makes me think that the marketing men have got the title right.

On this album you have a chance to listen to the different piping styles of Willie Clancy and Seamus Ennis contrasting with Leo Rowsome and Felix Doran and hear some of the great names of Irish music.

Of all the tracks the most modern sounding is the Boys of the Lough track where the Willie Johnston inspired guitar accompaniment is so different from anything else on the album followed closely by 'Micho Russels Set' from Four Men and a Dog, again the guitar setting it apart, but not very far, from 'Paddy In London' by the Flanagan Brothers way back pre 1942. If the Flanagan Brothers were available for festival bookings in 1994, they would be a 'big name', a healthy sign that the music is still strong enough to survive and compete with the best without too much gimmickry.

With over 75 minutes playing time and 28 tracks this C.D. is great value for money and a worthwhile purchase for anybody interested in the background to many of todays Irish bands and singers.

It is a tremendously varied album of music and song. Sit back and dream and you could be enjoying a huge 'Comhaltus' tour concert, all that is missing is the dancers.

Pete Heywood

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This album was reviewed in Issue 2 of The Living Tradition magazine.