Link to Living Tradition Homepage





Sleeve not available
PATRICK STREET "Street Life" Green Linnet GLCD 1222

There are, I suppose very few things in life which can be constantly relied upon. Well, that's got the philosophical line out of the way, let's get on with the review!

One of the constants that can be relied upon is, in my experience, any new release by Patrick Street - that is to say it can be relied on to contain a mixture of outstanding musicianship, songwriting and singing. I'm pleased to report that my faith in this constancy has yet again been rewarded, and rewarded well.

Here we have five sets of tunes and five songs, and the first of the tune sets, Saddle the Pony / The Boys of the Town / The Frost Is All Over might at first sight appear to be fairly well-exposed. As soon as the first driving notes hit your ears, however, you realise that just because tunes have become well-known, that doesn't mean that they have to be played in a pedestrian style. Here the set gets a make-over to produce a fresh-faced, driving and pulsating blend of interweaving instrumentation that lifts it into realms far above the ordinary. This group's approach has always been like this - if they like any tunes, they attack them with gusto, but in a way which gives an instantly recognisable twist. Tunes know when they've been Patrick Streeted, and so do the listeners.

The songs, too, have variety in store. Barna Hill and Green Grows The Laurel provide the traditional Irish content, with an Andy Irvine American mining tale Down in Matewan, a fine version of The Diamantina Drover and an intriguing contrast between Ireland and Berlin in If We Had Built a Wall completing the collection.

All in all, this is a recording of exactly the high standards we have come to expect from a group whose already immense reputation has been added to once again.

Gordon Potter

Secure On-line mailorder service Buy this CD online from The Listening Post
The Listening Post is the CD mailorder service of The Living Tradition magazine.
This album was reviewed in Issue 51 of The Living Tradition magazine.