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Joe Heaney "Irish Traditional Songs in Gaelic and English" Ossian OSSCD22

This is a CD release of the almost "fabled" Topic LP. Indeed it was from a well-used and much worn copy of this LP, I first heard this big, generous voice. At that time I was just at start of my addiction to Traditional song and singing styles and had neither words nor notion how to describe, explain or understand the hows and whys by which emotion of such scale could be communicated. And, dam it, I don't have any more of a grasp on it yet. Although this recording was made, not a kick-in-the-shirt off of, forty years ago it must still be numbered among the best recordings made of Traditional music.

Don't believe me? Just listen to the depth and authority of Joe Heaney as he recounts the burdens and narratives of, "The Wife of the Bold Tenant Farmer", "An Tighearna Randal", "Bean An Leanna", "John Mitchel", "Casadh An tSugain", "The Rocks of Bawn" and, indeed the rest of the material on this CD. Commanding stuff all the way through.

This is a CD with which anyone who has an interest in Traditional singing should make themselves familiar and should be compulsory listening for all those setting out to sing Traditional material.

Peter Fairbairn

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This album was reviewed in Issue 49 of The Living Tradition magazine.