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VARIOUS ARTISTS "Mighty Session!" Kells Music KM9515

An immediate reaction to the title was to glance at the very impressive line-up and think that here would be great musicians giving their all in a pub somewhere, with the poor sound engineer failing to cope with the distractions of a liquid-inspired crowd. Fortunately, first impressions can be totally misleading!

The tracks here were recorded in a variety of locations, both studio and elsewhere, but the sound quality is perfect throughout, even with that most difficult things, the background live set dancers, on one of them.

It's not a sampler, as the tracks are not from other recordings but it is an excellent cross-section of traditional and traditionally-influenced Irish music and song. Included here are "over thirty artistes" on the live track and twenty-one others. I don't want to list them all, but a casual name-drop of Gerry O'Connor, Vinnie Kilduff, Begley and Cooney, not to mention the peerless Sharon Shannon, should give you a broad hint that we're talking major talent here. Personally, I feel that Dolores Keane has chosen better songs than "Have I Told You Lately", in her time, but that's a minor quibble when offset by, say the driving version of "The Silver Spire", or the haunting "Mrs Jameson's Favourite".

A fine CD this, and it seems that this is a recording label to watch out for in the future.

Gordon Potter

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This album was reviewed in Issue 23 of The Living Tradition magazine.