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Cork Folk Festival Archive
VARIOUS ARTISTS Cork Folk Festival Archive - 21 Years of the Cork Folk Festival - CFFCD001

.Walloping in straight for the jugular come Seamus Creagh & Jackie Daly on the openers "Micho Russells' and the Clare Jig", the second of these evoking hazy memories of a monumental night where I watched two men in workboots in an Enistymon pub, devoid of women, drunk as skunks, perform to this, inches of fag ash dangling from their gobs, without setting an intricate foot wrong in the cramped space. Ah what memories (almost).

The Cork Folk Festival has been celebrating the music, song and dance of Ireland and countries worldwide for 21 years, and this project started in 1990 when they decided to record some of the festivals' highlights to be kept as a record of the event. A great idea, and with very few exceptions - well, only one really, the song "The only one for me" didn't do it for me - the 18 tracks are a blistering, swaggering, at times poignant and sensitive at others joyously infectious advertisement for a festival that needs no hype beyond this music.

Count the festivals that advertise themselves as purveyors of great music, or the "craic" or as "the friendly festival", and all the rest of it and think of the all too frequent realities that fall short of the claims, then play this again, and from the openers from Gerry O' Connor & Mick Daly, to Orion (yep, proof positive that the booking person(s) know what they're about) to the closing Sliabh Luachra Reels you know this is the real McCoy.

Precious stuff distilled over a decade - - -and did you know from March you'll be able to fly direct to Cork for a mere 79 return? Not so much a mere music mag, more an aid to lifestyle, eh?

Hector Christie

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This album was reviewed in Issue 42 of The Living Tradition magazine.