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PATRICK STREET "Live" Green Linnet GLCD1194

Well, Patrick Street are back on track with this bright, engaging CD, a round dozen tracks (53 mins) from their November 1998 tour. They kick off with two bouncy instrumentals, followed by a nicely arranged emigration song and then a gentle comic song which will sneak into many repertoires. Down to Kerry for a pair of jigs, up to Ulster for Andy Irvine's version of "Wild Rover", and then it's back down south for some Sliabh Luachra polkas and slides. This is my favourite bit of the album, and it's followed by the first of two fine contemporary ballads, "The Monaghan Grey Mare" (no relation).

The live version of "Music for a Found Harmonium" is definitely a show-stopper. The muted minor guitar intro is impressive, and Kevin Burke's fiddle slips in nicely: then we get the punch of the accordion, and the tune really comes alive. Next, to set the scene for the big finish, there's Gerry O'Beirne's eerie ballad "The Holy Ground" given a bluesy feel by Irvine's harp. Then the 3-reel finale takes off and flies through five and a half minutes of frenzied fingerwork - fine stuff.

Patrick Street enhance the best of the Irish tradition with some deft modern touches here. The sleeve notes are excellent, and most of this material is not on their previous recordings, so no complaints from me!

Alex Monaghan

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This album was reviewed in Issue 33 of The Living Tradition magazine.