David Granville reviews Geantraí, various artists (available in CD & DVD formats), Gael Linn/TG4, CEFCD 189
FOR TRADITIONAL Irish music fans still getting over the shock of Dervish's participation in the Eurovision song contest, these performances taken from the last ten years of TG4's highly praised traditional music series Geantraí could be the perfect antidote.
Available on CD and as a DVD, Geantraí features 19 virtuoso performances recorded live in pub settings throughout Ireland, and similar venues in England, Scotland and the United States.
In all, fifty musicians and three singers perform a total of thirty-eight tunes and three songs. With groups like Boys of the Lough, At First Light, At The Racket and Providence and a host of top-flight traditional singers and musicians of the highest calibre you can almost guarantee from the minute you look down the track list that you are going to be in for a treat. No fillers here, there's not a dud in sight.
The quality and musical vitality is so much in evidence that It's hard even to identify specific tracks that could justifiably be called highlights, as if the rest somehow aren't.
However, if pressed I'd go for At First Light performing Rose in the Gap/Old Dudeen (uillean piper John McSherry's playing on the piece gave me goosebumps, the twin fiddles of Liz and Yvonne Kane, accompanied on guitar by John Blake, playing a couple of jigs (Jig for Jimmy/Betsy's Delight) composed by Liz and Bríd Ní Mhaoilchiaráin's beautiful rendition of the traditional love song Neainsín Bhán.
Believe me, if this selection is anything to go by, it's not difficult to see why the programme was voted No. 1 by TG4 viewers or why Irish Music Magazine voted it the best traditional music show on television.
Delightful and magnificently uplifting.
TG4 is Ireland's Irish language television channel
Connolly Association, c/o RMT, Unity House, 39 Chalton Street, London, NW1 1JD
Copyright © 2007 David Granville