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Band Reviews

Arguably the best Irish album ever By Tal (Berkeley, CA USA)

Ever since Dervish hit the scene they have paved new roads, expanding the limits of what Irish/Celtic music can encompass. Their rhythm section, made up of 3 players playing anything from Mandolins to Guitars in any given combination, is easily one of the strongest rhythm sections ever assembled. This serves as the harmonious canvas upon which the fiddle, wind, and accordion soar to roaring hights. These 6 players alone have the sheer talent to conquer. But with the delicate and completely honest voice of Cathy Jordan added to the mix, what we witness is a group of musicians whose power is unstoppable. This album is intense, humane, and honest. Even the fast jigs have an air of love and honesty about them. What distinguishes this album from other outings is the fact that it manages to mix extremely raw energy with incredibly structured compositions. The compositions here match and at times even outdo anything the chieftains could manage. This is the new appex of Irish music, period.

Original review is available here.


Couldn't wish for a better album, By Trevor (New York)

With this CD, Dervish, in my mind, became the top traditional Irish group today. It starts off with the title track, "Midsummer's Night," which serves as an introduction to the band. They begin by all playing a reel, and then each member takes a solo or plays a duet, before ending up all together at the end. High energy, fiery Sligo playing. One of the highlights is the song "Erin Gra Mo Chroi." Cathy Jordan's voice conveys the indescribable sadness of one who's left Ireland and knows he will never return. Tragic. They follow that up with a set of jigs-into-reels, called "Lark on the Strand." The jigs are slow, and start out delicately played upon the string instruments. The other instruments come in slowly and it gradually builds to an incredibly powerful sound, before leaping into a reel. Listening to this after the previous song can make you simply melt. The final song on the album is "Red Haired Mary." A light-hearted song to the tune of a grand polka, it's one of my very favorites. You'll listen to this one over and over again. One truly couldn't wish for a more perfect album. Not a single track you'll want to skip on this one, and when it's over you'll immediately go back and listen to it all over again.

Excellent live album of a top Irish group, By Ian Martyn "Musician" (Los Angeles, CA USA)

This is an excellent live album by one of my favorite Irish traditional music groups, Dervish. All of the musicians are in fine form and playing excellently. Cathy Jordan's voice is of particular note here, as her soaring vocals in both Irish and English are the delight of the album. The tunes are also excellently performed. One really nice feature of this live album is that the talking is separated from the actual songs and tunes. This is useful if you don't want to hear the band talking, but I recommend that you listen to the inter-song banter at least once. Cathy says some really funny things. "Girls, if you have one man in your life, you'd better get another, so if one leaves you, you still have one left."  Note: this was recorded shortly before the departure of Shane McAleer (to New Zealand, of all places) and is the last album of Dervish's with his fiddle playing.


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