Cherish the Ladies

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It's pretty rare that any good comes of signing a traditional Celtic band to a major record label. In this case, the results have been mixed but generally good. The second Cherish the Ladies album on RCA has family participation as its theme, and for the most part it works out quite well: guests include the Clancy Brothers (father and uncle of Cherish the Ladies singer Aiofe Clancy), accordion player Jim Coogan (father of guitarist and banjo player Mary Coogan), and flutist Seamus Egan (brother of fiddler Siobhan Egan). There are several very fine reel and jig sets and a lovely rendition of the traditional song "Matt Hyland," sung beautifully by Aiofe Clancy. And there's also a nice performance of "John of Dreams," sung here by various members of the Clancy family. But the inclusion of Dan Fogelberg's "The Leader of the Band" sounds like a label executive's idea, and there's a tameness to the overall sound that is a bit disappointing. Still, this album will probably appeal to all but the snobbiest Celtic music fans.

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