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CORNER HOUSE "Caught Up" Corner House CH456

"Caught Up" was recently given a very favourable review in Irish Music magazine: many of Corner House's influences seem to be Irish, despite their Edinburgh background. Echoes of Altan, The Bothy Band, Four Men, and Flook are all to be heard here, although the band is definitely not in that league ... yet. This is another of the new-songs-old-tunes breed of band, with two of their own songs and one of Kevin Doherty's floating in a sea of familiar jigs and reels. To be fair, the boys (4 of them) have written a couple of nice tunes too, and their choice and arrangement of the traditional material shows very good taste.

Where this album falls down is in the technical rather than the aesthetic department. The delivery of the songs lacks polish, and the box and whistle playing is very muddy. Track seven is particularly bad in this respect: Paddy Duncan's fiddling is excellent here as elsewhere, but the box simply can't hack it. Some tightening-up is required, and perhaps some more original material. This is a promising debut nonetheless, with half a dozen very good tracks.

Alex Monaghan

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This album was reviewed in Issue 26 of The Living Tradition magazine.