Red Knot
Reviews from the Atlanta Celtic Quarterly
Red Knot

All reviews by David Marcus unless otherwise noted.
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At the Racket
At The Racket: John Carty (banjo, fiddle, flute); Brian McGrath (banjo, mandolin, piano); Garry O'Briain (mandocello, guitar, vocals); Seamus O'Donnell (saxophone, flute, vocals). 14 tracks; 46'23". Racket Records RR001. Available from the House of Musical Traditions (800-540-3794 or
Absolutely outstanding. Named for a 1920s Flanagan Brothers recording (Flanagan at the Racket), this band verves along with the sound of a '20s and '30s Irish dance band. O'Donnell's saxophone--an instrument the band says used to be favored by many N. Connaught flute players--has the reedy sound of the box and pipes while adding a real swing flavor, and tenor banjos bring the music hall touch.

Vocal tracks range from original to Percy French to old Irish; O'Donnell's voice is a traditional slightly-nasal tenor while O'Briain sings his own Molly My Dear with an almost-country & western sound. Clean recording, tight playing, and nicely-textured arrangements complement a tradition-based band that is as alive, swingy, fun, and happy as any I've heard since Four Men and a Dog (of which Brian McGrath was a founder).

Easily tops the Christmas list!

David Marcus  
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The Atlanta Red Knot Celtic Quarterly