Paperboys

Molinos

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The compatibility of traditional Irish music and rock & roll has inspired bands as diverse as the Pogues, Oysterband, Mouth Music and Boiled in Lead. What the Paperboys bring to the table with their version of Celtic rock is something lacking in almost all of the other fine, artists who have taken a similar approach: namely, consistent skill at writing real pop songs with unembarrassing lyrics and honest-to-goodness melodic hooks. Based in Vancouver, British Columbia, the Paperboys play traditional jigs and reels with solid conviction but almost always as adjuncts to their original songs. The effect can be thrilling, as when the album's title track veers off into "The Foxhunter's Reel" or when Lennon and McCartney's "I've Just Seen a Face" gets interrupted by a modern Irish tune called "Coast of Austria." Elsewhere there are sets of strictly trad numbers or new compositions in the trad style -- most notably a fine set of tunes written by flutist Hanz Araki. The band's playing is solid and nicely idiomatic, but never academic or stiff. Singer/guitarist Tom Landa has a good voice and knows how to shape a song, and fiddlers Shona Le Mottee and Shannon Saunders weave a sparkling fabric around and behind him. This album is a delight from beginning to end.

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