One of the inaugural releases on Martin Hadden's (Silly Wizard) label, Prodigal Sons & Marcy d'Arcy do not sound as divided as their name suggests. For a debut recording, their rapport and harmonies appear well-seasoned. Formed by ex-Tannas guitarist Mike Garden, Prodigal Sons also includes Eddy Hanson on fiddle, Flushing Meadows on drums, and bassist Fielding Mellish. The duo Marcy d'Arcy is comprised of vocalists Nuala McDermott and Sarah Lynch (who doubles on winds). While the prominent instruments are fiddle, flute and whistle, the distinguishing elements of The Anvil are the uplifting vocals and youthful harmonies of Marcy d'Arcy, especially winsome on the midtempo "Star of the County Down" and "Welcome Poor Paddy Home." Slower tracks like "A Woman's Heart" and "Flower of Magherally" unveil the intimate beauty of their voices. However, there is another, more rocking side to this outfit too. Their raucous Celtic rock muscle is best demonstrated on the instrumentals "Waiting for the Federals" (featuring Meadows' frenetic drumming), "Morrison's Jig," and "The Tern." Garden's steady rhythm guitar and Hanson's Ric Sanders-like fiddle are the driving forces behind these tracks, but Lynch's fine playing is a vital ingredient as well.
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AllMusic Review by Dave Sleger