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SHANTALLA "Seven Evenings, Seven Mornings" Wild Boar Music WBM 21030

Remember the song "Will Ye Go To Flanders?" Well, whether or not your name's Molly you'll find plenty to enthuse about here for Wild Boar Music is a record company based just outside Brussels who are releasing albums from the new wave of Flemish folk music.

And don't be surprised at understanding the title of this album for though Shantalla are based in Brussels their roots are elsewhere and the sleeve note instruction to retailers is "File under Irish, Scottish, Celtic, Folk". The band is the Irish/Scottish combination of Kieran Fahy from Tuam on fiddle; Helen Flaherty from East Kilbride on vocals and bodhran; Michael Horgan from Newcastle, Co. Down on uilleann pipes, flute and whistles; Joe Hennon from Dublin on guitar and Gerry Murray from Scotstown, Co. Monaghan on accordion, bouzouki, mandolin and whistles.

There's praise for the band from Altan's Mairead Ni Mhaonaigh in the sleeve notes - in three languages, by the way - and their popularity in Europe is easily understood on listening to the album. It's a well thought out mix of tunes and songs, with the former being mostly written by the group members whereas the songs - beautifully sung by Helen Flaherty - are from the Scots tradition with the exception of one from the New Tradition - Karine Polwart's "The Dreadful End of Marianna for Sorcery" and Tim O'Brien and Guy Clark's "John Riley".

This is a fine album from a band who, I'm sure, will make a big impact outside Europe when they choose to spread their wings.

Alan McIntosh Brown

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This album was reviewed in Issue 50 of The Living Tradition magazine.