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JOYCE'S FOLLY "Over the Waterfall" Zeptunes ZEP002

Following our rediscovery of the music of Cape Breton and Nova Scotia what better to follow-up with a look inland at the Irish tradition in Ontario - and in the hands of this four-piece it is clearly thriving.

Not that we can claim any credit for this "discovery". Joyce's Folly have come blasting out of the woodwork with a freshness and originality which shows once again that there is nothing quite so alive as our long-dead folk traditions.

Listening to this album before reading about its Canadian roots there seemed to be certain influences over and above Irish traditional: a touch of Barely Works in the jazzy, zip-along arrangements and song arrangements far away from traditional-style singing that have echoes of both modern rap and the way that the much-missed Jumpleads used to play around with a song. They do that with old folk revival chestnuts like "Down By the Sally Gardens" and "She Moved Through the Fair".

With a line-up that switches around between flute, whistle, bodhran, harmonica, mandolin and guitar they produce toe-tapping sets of tunes which tear along without sacrificing subtlety.

They finish their set with a quite stunning song, "Mary Mack", which is one of those heart-breakers of the kind that Andy M. Stewart so often rescues from obscurity. Ten tracks at just over forty-five minutes. The only criticism I can find for these guys is that their publicity overdoes the C-for-Celtic word. Book them for every festival this summer.

Bob Harragan

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