Leaving Inverarden

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A most extraordinary musical journey, a mix of James Gordon and Alex Sinclair originals and traditional tunes that contain a bit of a Canadian history lesson as well, all sung with robust passion (especially the title track) and played with the haunting lilt of the Chieftains' best work; the melodies, as well as the pennywhistles and Northumbrian smallpipes here, will even remind listeners of the Irish band. Occasionally the group lapses into slick contemporary singer/songwriter tendencies that break the spell, but most of this album has a hard, earthy sound, more potent than some of the group's earlier works, with a rough-hewn feel of authenticity.

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