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This is the sort of album that you could give to anyone, whether or not they liked folk music – it’s faultlessly performed and very digestible. The focus is quite emphatically on the voice, which is exactly right; Éilís is an outstanding singer with a very strong track record both solo and with her fellow Dingle singer, Pauline Scanlon, as Lumiere. Having said that, the accompanists and arrangements that have contributed to this recording have done an excellent job.

The songs on this CD fall into three basic types. There are traditional English language songs, songs in Irish, with the remaining tracks being contemporary. Éilís herself is the credited composer on some of these, including what was the stand-out track for me, Flannel Red, a compelling story with a great air based on her great grandfather’s life and death that could have come straight from a Blasket legend, and sung so well that I found myself wanting more narrative songs – in fact, more songs, full stop.

She’s chosen well-known songs from other writers such as Bill Caddick (John O’ Dreams) and Gordon Bok (Hills Of Isle Au Haut) – in fact, a couple of the tracks started their lives on the other side of the pond, and her Saucy Sailor’s accompaniment sounds very European, so there’s loads of variety.

My only criticism is that she could easily have put a few more tracks on this (11 track) CD – it certainly leaves you wanting more.

John Waltham

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This album was reviewed in Issue 118 of The Living Tradition magazine.