The Irish Weavers

Live at Blarney Park [1999]

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The Irish Weavers are a Celtic trio featuring accordions, guitars, mandolin, flutes, the bodhran (Irish drum), and more, but on this recording guest musicians sit in on drum kit and fiddle. Their sound is boisterous and high-spirited, reminiscent of the Clancy Brothers in their prime, but more instrumentally rich. The drum kit, when it is used, as on "All for Me Grog," makes the group sound even more rollicking, if that is possible. But just when you think you have them pigeonholed, the boys send out an extended flute solo, sweet and sad. Other songs betray a wicked sense of humor, such as "The Quartermaster's Store," which tells of all the inedibles at an army post. An especially good verse is: "There were chickens, chickens/Since the time of Dickens/At the store (at the store)/At the quartermaster's store." This is accompanied by chickens "bawking" away. The first half of the program is stronger than the second, composed as it is mostly of traditionals. The second half is mostly originals. Some are excessively sentimental, like "Cork Loves a Stranger" (which features a synthesizer!); some are goofy, like "The Oldest Swinger in Town." Wisely, the group chooses to go out on a sheaf of airs. A mixed bag, but fun.

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