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DANU Seanchas


Private label LTCD9004

It’s an often-remarked by-product of getting older that time seems to pass by more quickly, so it’s maybe no coincidence that Danu are releasing this CD on my birthday, and I really do find it hard to take in that they have been around for a decade and a half. Maybe one of the reasons for this reluctance on my part is the fact that this band always manages to sound fresh, dynamic and innovative, without compromising any of their commitment to their roots.

The line-up for this latest venture is Muireann Nic Amhlaoibh, vocals and flute; Benny McCarthy, accordion and melodeon; Oisin McAuley, fiddle and backing vocals, Eamon Doorley, bouzouki and backing vocals; Donal Clancy, guitar, bass, vocals and bouzouki; and Donnchadh Gough, bodhran, with Tom Doorley, flute; Ciaran O’Gealbhain, vocals and Martin O’Neill, piano, shaker and snare drum helping out.

The CD has a grand mixture of songs and tunes, including an inspired blending of Andy Irvine’s Never Tire of the Road with the traditional reel The Green Fields of America, which here seem like they were written for each other.  Clarity is a key feature throughout this recording.  The instrumental arrangements are layered in such a way as to bring out the maximum musicality, and the interplay is delightful, and every note is discernable.  Add to this the fact that Muireann has one of the best-articulated voices not just in Ireland but anywhere you care to mention, and the overall effect of the album is stunning.

Pace countered with control, energy countered with sensitivity, it’s all in here, as Danu show that the ageing process is doing them no harm whatsoever, rather the converse!

Gordon Potter

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This album was reviewed in Issue 87 of The Living Tradition magazine.