Barry O'Dowd

20 Irish Favourites

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With 20 Irish Favorites, listeners are getting what is essentially an Irish/Celtic equivalent of a Lawrence Welk album. Barry O'Down & The Shamrock Singers aren't heavyweights in the Irish/Celtic field, and their readings of popular Irish songs like "Sweet Rosie O'Grady," "Clancy Lowered the Boom," "The Leprechaun" and "Where the Shannon River Flows" are pretty tame and safe. Be that as it may, this is a likable effort -- not fantastic and certainly not essential, but pleasant and likable. Much like Welk's Americanized polkas, O'Down's arrangements of Irish songs lack the fire, guts, and vitality of a master such as Tommy Makem; but you end up enjoying his group's performances nonetheless. The CD booklet contains the lyrics to all of the songs.

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