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BENJI KIRKPATRICK "Dance in the Shadows" Wild Goose Studios WGS291CD

There are a number of young performers in the current folk scene whose parents were linked with the 1960s folk revival, and I find this very encouraging. They often bring a new slant to the way in which the tunes and songs are performed. Just as the 1960s folk scene was influenced by the popular music of that era so these new performers are not intimidated by the latest studio techniques; they are carrying on the tradition but in a multimedia world. Their parents influence, whether direct or by familiarity with the musical material, lend an integrity and confidence to their performance.

The CD under review is a case in point. The performer is Benji Kirkpatrick, son of John Kirkpatrick and Sue Harris. As you might expect, if you are aware of the work of his parents, this record contains a mixture of songs and instrumentals all performed with skill, clarity and ease, but more than this is the obvious pleasure of the performance. He plays guitar, mandolin and bouzouki, often multi tracked, he sings and writes good quality songs!

The instrumentals range from jigs to more studied lyrical pieces, all played with a breathtaking precision that are joyful to hear. He is very ably accompanied by Bod on bodhran, and Paul Sartin on oboe; both add quality to Benji's excellent performance. There are four songs, three of which are traditional: Trooper and the Maid; Curragh of Kildare and The Bold Pedlar; together with a self-penned song Ridgewalkers.

I had not actually heard Benji before this CD but I shall certainly be looking forward to seeing him live at forthcoming festivals or in a local folk club.

Nick Caffrey

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This album was reviewed in Issue 31 of The Living Tradition magazine.