|Reviews from the Atlanta Celtic Quarterly
All reviews by David Marcus unless otherwise noted.
PS: I recommend CDNow for on-line CD shopping. Great prices; excellent service.
|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 email@example.com).
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
Easily tops the Christmas list!