The Dubliners

A Drop of the Hard Stuff

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Residing somewhere between the Clancy Brothers and the Chieftains, but more raucous in their sensibilities than either of those outfits, the Dubliners have been Irish music's most uninhibited emissaries to the world since the mid-'60s. This album lives up to its title, offering some lusty renditions of drinking songs, rebel songs, reels, and just about every other subgenre upon which this group has built its reputation across the decades. The performances are rousing and rich in sentiment, often joyous, and sometimes angry (depending on the subject). Highlights include "The Old Alarm Clock," "The Rising of the Moon," "Seven Drunken Nights," "Zoological Gardens," "The Fairmoy Lasses & Sporting Paddy" (which shows off the virtuoso side of their playing), and the haunting "Black Velvet Band"." The whole record was worth a follow-up (More of the Hard Stuff), and is still worth hearing, more than four decades later.

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