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DANU "Danu" Tim Murray TM002

The first CD from a fine band of young whippersnappers from the Irish Republic, there is some excellent playing here on a well thought-out programme of thoroughly traditional music. Light and shade is provided by pausing occasionally from the sets of jigs and reels for the odd slow air or a couple of unaccompanied songs, finely sung by Carthach MacCraith - who sticks to the Gaelic tongue even for his sleeve notes.

But it is a predominantly instrumental album. Guitarist Timmy Murray, the only member of the band who doesn't appear to have a "started playing traditional fiddle at 10" background, says he "likes Irish Traditional music because of its energy, feel and wonderful melodies". This album is overflowing with all three. If I have a criticism, it is that they as yet don't have a particular identity. A wealth of talent yes, but lots of groups of Irish musicians have that. You'll hear it at many an Irish session. But even on an album of traditional music it is good to be able to hear an original "voice". And there is nothing leaping out of this recording that will cause me to pause when I hear a brief snippet on the radio and say "Isn't that Danu?".

But they have plenty of time. Apparently Danu was known as the Goddess of prosperity - her namesakes should play long and prosper.

Graham Gurrin

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This album was reviewed in Issue 30 of The Living Tradition magazine.