This is a charming little album, full of personality and great playing. Only seven tracks long it still packs a punch. Big, meaty fiddle, a serious rhythm section and some cracking bouzouki playing all make for a strong sound. Nicely trad, without the need for too much programmed embellishment, these boys can play. That being said, I will admit that I absolutely love the Curly Wurly (or Rhodes? I’m pretty sure it’s Wurlitzer) they have sneaked onto ‘Boat in the Morning’ – it adds rather than detracts from the overall sound and adds variation. I like it.
I learnt a lot researching this particular album. ‘Barrule’ is the highest (and second highest) mountain on the Isle of Man and is the spot from where the legendary Manannan Kings ruled their tiny island nation (more on this in a future review).
‘Mec Lir’ as far as I can make out means ‘Son of the Sea’ or ‘Son of Lir’ who was himself an Irish God of the Sea. There are so many fascinating myths and legends in the Celtic culture you should really take a look!
Standout track: ‘Boat in the Morning’
The twist in the tail is that just as you have settled back into an upbeat, muscular groove along comes a devastating slow air followed by the sweetest little song you are ever likely to hear! Track seven ‘We’re Going to be Friends’ is oddly reminiscent of the quieter moments of Admiral Fallow or Stornoway and is totally unexpected. Written by Jack White and also performed by Jack Johnson, it’s a genius choice of cover and a song I hadn’t actually heard before.
Having yet to see the band live, I do not know whether this album is a true reflection of their set, but I, for one, could definitely stand to hear a few more songs. I was enchanted.
Let’s hope we hear more from these footstomping lads, the sooner the better.
Another wee belter for the collection!