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THE LONELY STRANDED BAND - "The Lonely Stranded Band"
Clo Iar-Chonnachta CICD116

I had never heard of this group, never mind heard them, until the review copy was delivered by my friendly postie. I had a very high regard for Clo Iar-Chonnachta, a company from County Galway whose recording artistes have always impressed me with their quality. The Lonely Stranded Band prove themselves to be worthy stable-mates.

The line-up is Charlie Piggott on melodeon, Miriam Collins on concertina and Joe Corcoran on bouzouki, guitar and vocals, and they combine splendidly indeed on this mixture of tunes (mostly jigs and reels) and songs. The tune sets are played with plenty of drive and feeling, but not at the breakneck speed which too many people who should know better associate with accomplishment. Here we have the sets sounding the way they should, and I can imagine lots of people feeling compelled to roll back the carpet and dance along!

Joe Corcoran's singing is also taken in a very natural way, not seeming to be in any way forced, but rather moulding itself to the words, allowing the listener to follow the storyline easily. The arrangements are a little bit different from more standard versions, and this only adds to the enjoyment, with "The Rocks of Bawn" in particular taking on new life for me.

All in all, a most enjoyable album, but if you want an explanation of the dreadful pun in the group's title, you'll have to buy a copy for yourself!

Gordon Potter

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This album was reviewed in Issue 17 of The Living Tradition magazine.