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Disgrace Notes
Private Label SIBIN01

Kerry box-player Seamus Begley here teams up with an Englishman, Tim Edey, to produce a mixed album of tunes and songs.  The tunes have great spark, with nifty box playing and multi-layered guitar accompaniments and will please anyone looking for not only some great traditional material, but also a few great new ones in the traditional style written by Seamus’ son Eoin as well as Johnny McCarthy.  Seamus sings the songs gently, almost crooning them and his clear accurate voice does them justice and makes a fine contrast with the liveliness of the dance sets. 

The production is rich and this appears to have been aimed at a more general market than the standard traditional issue – the close harmony backing vocals and several overdubbed guitars give a rich sound which will doubtless be as much appreciated by mainstream radio listeners as well as a more traditional audience, although a couple sometimes verge towards the twee. 

Sleeve notes give little information – “one of Seamus’s favourite sets” is a good example – perhaps Tim likes them as well?  This off-hand air means that Karine Polwarts’ lovely song Follow the Heron Home is not credited – presumably the fact that she will not get her due royalties will be tempered by the knowledge that the song is popular in New Zealand.  A bit of a mix then, but one which should satisfy a large audience.

Paul Burgess

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