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SpiritSpirit | Released 2003 | Buy this album now

Matching a vigorous, intense performance style with a thorough understanding of both the musical and social elements of traditional Irish music, the spell-binding Dervish is one of the foremost Celtic folk bands on today’s scene. Beginning life as a loose aggregate of local musicians from Northwestern Ireland in 1989, Dervish has grown into a vital force on the international Irish music scene, winning Hot Press’s Album of the Year Award in 1996 and Irish Music Magazine’s prestigious Best Overall Trad/Folk Band of the Year in 1997. Spirit is their finest studio effort to date; an extraordinary consolidation of Dervish’s many strengths. Perfectly balancing vocal and instrumental performances, solo and ensemble features, and brisk and lilting tempos, Spirit takes the listener on an invigorating voyage to the core of traditional Irish music. Link to original review.

Track Listing

  1. John Blessings
  2. An Rógaire Dubh Na Ceannabháin Bhána Páidín O Raifeartaí
  3. Father Jack
  4. The Fair-Haired Boy
  5. Siesta Set
  6. The Soldier Laddie
  7. Beauties of Autumn
  8. The Lag's Song
  9. Boots of Spanish Leather
  10. O'Raghailligh’s Grave
  11. Swallows Tail
  12. The Cocks Are Crowing
  13. Whelans (Jigs) Trounsdells Cross

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Listen to track samples


Dervish does it again! J. TIMMERMAN (Lawson, NSW Australia)

Top-flight 7-piece Dervish from Sligo in Ireland have been ultra-consistent in their recorded offerings and this new album, four years in the making, is no different. Rousing dance tunes like The Banks of Lough Gowna, lovely songs like The Fair Haired Boy by Brendan Graham and evocative airs like O'Raghalligh's Grave are arranged, played and sung with the greatest finesse and warmth of feeling. Cathy Jordan's distinctive and expressive voice is backed by fiddle, mandola, flutes, guitars, accordion, harmonica, bouzouki and other instruments. Songs are in both English and Gaelic and include The Lag's Song by Ewan McColl, Boots of Spanish Leather by Bob Dylan, The Soldier Laddie, and a "Tune of the Munster Pipers" from the 1860s. Instrumental medleys drive forward with a sweeping momentum that is totally exhilarating. Dervish are a cut above the ordinary and always work hard to present Irish traditional music with a touch of pizazz, while holding fast to the age-old true Irish spirit. Yep, this is the real deal and it's great to hear this band going from strength to strength.

It's finally here! Jung Won Kim (PA USA)

I first heard Dervish at the Cambridge Folk Festival and had to buy this CD, which was out in the UK nearly 2 years before being released here in the US. From then, I have worked backwards through the Dervish catalogue. For fans of Dervish's previous albums, I can tell you that it only gets better. Cathy Jordan's voice shines throughout, but especially on "Fair-Haired Boy" and Bob Dylan's "Boots of Spanish Leather". On the instrumental side, the highlights include "Jig Songs" (a medley of three pieces) and "Swallows Tail". There is also an excellent rendition of "Soldier Laddie". This Irish folk standard has a rather repetitive song structure, but Dervish incorporate wonderful variations in both the vocals and the instrumentation that keep the song lively all the way through. For those readers who are unfamiliar with Dervish, I can only urge you to buy this well as their previous work. The group has firmly established itself as the current standard bearer of traditional Irish music. I should note that this genre is a bit different from popular conceptions (i.e. new-agey Celtic music, such as Enya) - Dervish does not rely on synthesizers or the like but on your good old fiddle, acoustic guitar, flute, etc. (Anyone who wants some of those synthesized effects should try the Scottish group Capercaillie.) I know there are some people who just don't like this sort of music, but the rest of you who are more open-minded about quality music should appreciate Dervish's Spirit, for the musicianship is second to none.

Lyrics and sleeve notes - Click here

Review (.wma format)

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