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VARIOUS ARTISTS - "BLASTA! The Irish Traditional Music Special"
Gael Linn CDTCD007

If anybody can produce a definitive compilation album of Irish music, then Gael Linn must be at the front of the grid. Since 1958 the label has focussed on the exclusive production of traditional music in all its facets giving a myriad of musicians and singers their initial recording opportunity.

Many artistes subsequently moved on to larger more commercial labels but it is a credit to Gael Linn that they have captured them at a stage when they gave some of their most memorable performances.

You would expect, and you get, plenty of great tracks from artistes including De Danann, Colm Murphy, Buttons and Bows, Mary Bergin, Dolores Keane, Paddy Glackin, Clannad - 13 different sets of performers in total.

In an album of outstanding music, if I were forced to pick out a couple of tracks I would choose Tony MacMahon & Noel Hills live set, an amazingly vital performance and the singing of Maighread Ni Dhomhnaill. But then such is the quality of the selection that the next time through I might pick Mary Bergin and Paddy Glackin, then the next time ...

Recommended either as an introduction or simply as a good album.

Pete Heywood

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This album was reviewed in Issue 22 of The Living Tradition magazine.