Dónal Lunny


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Dónal Lunny isn't a legendary figure in Irish music for nothing. He helped revolutionize it with the Bothy Band, in addition to his own work and guesting on other peoples' albums. So when he put a band together, it was bound to be interesting. With people like Nollaig Casey and John McSherry he had the cream of the crop, and a subtle electric rhythm section. Add in guests like Sharon Shannon, Eddi Reader, and the Ní Dhomnaill sisters, and you have a wealth of talent. But while the focus is very much on Irish music, the gaze does run wider, taking in Moldavia ("Moldavian Triptych," featuring the glowing voice of Márta Sebestyén) and such traditional goodies as "The Lowlands of Holland" (with Reader) and "False Fly." Most of the tunes, however, are from Lunny's pen, and in this company they come across as a glorious, high-class session. Lunny himself is outstanding on bouzouki and guitar, but he never dominates, allowing this to be a real band album. It might not be as important as the work he did in the '70s, but there's little doubt that the quality of the musicianship and arrangements marks a standard everyone else now has to measure up to, especially after "The Mouseskin Shoe and Dancing in Allihies."

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