Link to Living Tradition Homepage





Sleeve not available
KEVIN BURKE'S OPEN HOUSE "Hoof and Mouth" Green Linnet GLCD1169

Kevin Burke's Open House were one of the delights at this year's Celtic Connections in Glasgow, and I have fond memories of the night they shared the stage with La Bottine Souriante at the Fruitmarket. No surprise then to find the Bottine's Andrew Marchand engineering this CD, with Ged Foley in the producer's chair.

The band comprises the eponymous Kevin Burke on fiddle, Mark Graham on harmonica, clarinet and vocals, Paul Kotapish on guitar and mandolin and Sandy Silva on percussive dance, with Ged Foley sitting in on Northumbrian small pipes.

Mark Graham's choice of three songs are wide-ranging, with a Laura Nyro cover, "And When I Die", an American Civil War ballad, "Bright Sunny South" and his own "Oedipus Rex" in which he conveys the sense of the Greek tragedy and contrasts it with the revelations of the Donahue Show! All these are delivered in his deep, measured tones and are all fine examples of how to keep the listeners attention.

The nine sets of tunes take us on a worldwide tour, showing that this group don't limit themselves to home-grown themes, but joyfully adapt whatever takes their fancy. so we move effortlessly from Irish sets and self-penned numbers to Finland for the delightful waltz "Kuivatasaluevalssi" and to the Balkans for "Ducino Kolo", a rip-roaring, weaving mixture of time-signatures.

I'm intrigued by the derivation of the tune "The Tattoo", one of Paul's own compositions, as the notes simply say "the tattoo is on our favourite barmaid in Portland, Oregon". Whatever the inspirations for this blend, they work superbly, with not a dull track anywhere and with each listening it just gets better and better.

One small thought ... since Sandy Silva's full range of talents can only be appreciated fully by seeing her interpretative dance, how about "Hoof and Mouth - The Video"?

Get our there, buy this, listen to it and discover true quality music.

Gordon Potter

Secure On-line mailorder service Buy this CD online from The Listening Post
The Listening Post is the CD mailorder service of The Living Tradition magazine.
This album was reviewed in Issue 21 of The Living Tradition magazine.