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Enda Kenny - Six of One
ENDA KENNY "Six of One" EKCD006

Enda Kenny is an Irish singer/songwriter living in Melbourne. His songs are studded with humane insights, like those of fellow Aussie Celtic Eric Bogle and Alistair Hulett. The migrant's eye sees clearly.

"Six of One" follows his two previous own-label CDs, "Twelve Songs" (EKCD001) and "Baker's Dozen" (EKCD0013). Don't worry, he's not economising. His six songs are balanced by ones written by Tom Paxton, Jez Lowe, Bernard Carney, Stan Rogers, Mick Ryan and Joe Paolacci. Six of one and half a dozen of the others make an enjoyable and informative fifty-three minutes.

Enda's songs are gentler this time, and not always right for callous ears like mine. My two favourites are written for ladies. "Ellen" is a lovely "go for it" song for his friends' young daughter. "Michelle" demands fair play for Michelle Smith, the Irish swimmer whose Olympic golds brought suspicion of drug use. There's "Mary Christina" too - but that's about a boat named after his mum.

Mick Ryan's "The Cause" tops the impressive half dozen. It is a grand assault on those who fund the Ulster killings, and Enda sings it with a passion. Jez Lowe's "Old Bones" also suits him perfectly. His simple guitar accompaniment contrasts well with the embellishments elsewhere.

The arrangements often work well, with Lindsay Martin again providing subtle accompaniment on fiddle. Together they sometimes echo Kieran Halpin and Tom McConville in "Streets of Everywhere" days. The cutesy backing vocals only inflict serious damage on a couple of tracks.

A well-travelled friend tells me that Enda is a cracking live act. Certainly he now has a fine kitbag of his own songs, and this CD proves him a canny collector of other people's work. The combination could be powerful in performance. Catch him if he comes your way.

Tony Hendry

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