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SEAN DONNELLY "Erin's Lovely Home" Spring Records SCD1032

Sean Donnelly makes singing seem so easy; the songs seem to flow naturally from him in a pleasantly relaxed style.

For his latest album he has taken a handful of songs, mainly from his native Northern Ireland, added occasional touches of whistle, mandolin, fiddle and bodhran to his guitar, and brought an invited audience into Colum Sands' Studio for a friendly if unspectacular forty-five minutes.

"The Mountains of Pomeroy", once a standard vehicle for abuse by pub groups, is restored to its former beauty for the opening track while another well-worm standard, "Sliabh Gallen Brae", rounds things off in equally respectful style. In between are seven more old songs which may be less familiar outside the area - most notably the title track, which comes from the singing of the late Geordie Hanna. One newer song is included, Eamon Friel's evocative "Farewell to Mayo", conjuring up images of childhood holidays in the west of Ireland.

Occasionally, one wishes for a little more punch but that's just not Donnelly's style, so relax and enjoy.

Geoff Harden