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Siunta Music IONCD180 

The German folk scene seems relatively hale and hearty, even if it relies heavily on raw material from elsewhere in Europe. This is a good example, drawing largely from the Irish repertoire, but performed by a trio with German, Irish and English roots. They have been at it for 16 years and this well-produced album is their fifth effort.

Apart from their place of residence, the German connection brings on board Jens Kommnick, from Bremerhaven, with his guitar, bouzouki, piano and cello. Nick Wiseman-Ellis from Norwich provides the accordion and Siobhan Kennedy from Dundalk plays flute, whistles and fiddle. All three sing, and Cuan includes an unaccompanied three-part harmony version of a Gaelic lullaby called Éiníníi. Another track featuring all three is a setting of Richard Lovelace's poem, To Althea, From Prison, which some will remember from the works of Dave Swarbrick and Fairport Convention. There is also a good emigration song, Passage West, by John Spillane. Iontach's stock in trade could equally be said to be their tune sets, several of them dedicated to giants of Irish music, such as Sean Ryan and Charlie Lennon. Everything they do, they do well. I wouldn't necessarily rave about this, but it's a thoroughly accomplished and varied album.

Dave Hadfield


This review appeared in Issue 131 of The Living Tradition magazine