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MADIGAN "Uncorked" Transatlantic Roots TARMAD001

Madigan are a fine foursome from the Bath area, and comprise of Jenny Crook, Celtic harp and vocals; Henry Sears, fiddle, viola, mandolin, whistle and vocals; Dominic Harrison, guitar, bass and vocals; and the eponymous Brian Madigan on drums and flute.

This release is a mixture of contemporary songs and mainly traditional tune sets, with the most of the songs incorporating traditional airs between verses or at the end. All this adds up to a very well crafted CD indeed, with Jenny's voice for me being a particular highlight, being clear and sensitive, whether taking the lead or in the thoughtfully-arranged harmonies, reminiscent of the style she developed while playing in the duo Cythara.

Not that the songs overpower the musicianship - far from it, with the harp and fiddle especially combining in a crisp and driving manner, with swirling rhythms as well as gentler interpretations of slower numbers, confirming the quality of all concerned. Indeed, the tightness of the playing is remarkably good, with seamless segues and spot-on balance throughout.

Based on this release, Madigan are certainly a band on the move, so watch out for them and go and hear them if you get a chance.

Gordon Potter

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This album was reviewed in Issue 32 of The Living Tradition magazine.