Various Artists

Irish Folk [Marble Arch]

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AllMusic Review by

But for its paltry ten-song content, this would be a first-rate compilation, assembling a brace of mid-'60s Irish folk-themed records from various artists on the Pye Records label. Among the best known here are the Ludlows and the Dragoons (whose "Wild Raparee" was an almost current single at the time), the Johnstons, and the Ramblers Two. All of it is fine music, though the best moments here belong to one of the least known of the artists, the Southern Folk Four, whose haunting and rousing "Bad Luck to the Marching" is the highlight of side one, while their rendition of "The Travelling People" constitutes the most sublimely beautiful moment on side two. One would wish that Castle Records could have reissued this collection on CD, amid all of the other exhumations of the Pye catalog, though that may not have been possible -- while the Ramblers Two and the Southern Folk Four were signed directly to Pye, the other artists here were all under contract to Checker Records of Dublin, and issued here under license, which makes the LP all the more valuable a listening experience.