Dick Gaughan / Andy Irvine

Parallel Lines

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The combination of Gaughan and Irvine, towering figures in Scottish and Irish music, respectively, makes this more of an interesting mix -- even if not all the material comes from those Celtic sources (no one's going to mistake Dylan's "My Back Pages" for something Celtic, even though Gaughan's rendition brings a while new perspective to it). It's very much an equal partnership, each bringing plenty to the table; Irvine's version of "Captain Colston" (probably better known from an older Steeleye Span cover) is a standout for its heartbreak, although it pales next to the album's gem, a stunning take on the Scots "Floo'ers o' the Forest" that doesn't seem a moment too long at seven and a half minutes. The bonus cut, "Thousands Are Sailing to Amerikay," is applicable to both countries and forms a perfect conclusion to what is often a commonality between cultures with a common root. Beautifully played and wonderfully performed, this is a delight of a record.

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