Sean Doyle

The Light and the Half Light

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    8
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AllMusic Review by

The father of Solas' John Doyle, Sean Doyle is a good, accomplished singer, with a strong selection of songs from both sides of the Irish border. For the most part he prefers ballads, such as "Henry Joy McCracken," but he can bring plenty of life to "The Flower of the County Down" (a version of "The Star of the County Down") and humor to "Let Mr. McGuire Sit Down." The accompaniment is happily sparse, keeping attention focused on the song and the singer. At times it's simply Doyle and his son, a perfect, sympathetic combination. He's a casual, effortless singer, which works excellently in this context. Quite whether the poem "He Thinks of His Past Greatness When a Part of the Constellations of Heaven" belongs here is up for debate, as it breaks the rhythm. It leads into "The Shores of Lough Bran," a lovely closer whose tune is a dead ringer for "She Moves Through the Fair," but still a wonderful piece. Sean Doyle might have waited a long time to make his recording debut, but it's well worth the wait.

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