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Raglan Road - Live (O'Reilly Park Records)

If there were any sort of real justice in the world, Raglan Road would be a million times bigger than The Corrs. As it is, however, we don't live in a perfect world and we have to put up with pop-driven crap climbing all over the shiny mountain that is stardom, while the real talent is forced to battle it out in the mud.

There is something great about Irish trad music, no matter what fusion it is played in, that should make the listener want to get up and dance like an eejit. That's when you know it's being played right. The fusions on display here include everything from rock to jazz to funk and all the way around to disco and country as well. It is evident from their performances that the musicians in Raglan Road are competent players and comfortable improvising.

There is a great mixture of both traditional and original material on show here and both are played with the unequalled flare and intensity that Raglan Road call their own. The traditional tunes are given a bit of a twist with each player given a chance to improvise on the tune and show their unique abilities as players.

You'd never know this was a debut just by listening, the players are so talented and confident in their playing. Even if you don't like Irish trad music, you should at least give this blast of Celtic Rock a try. I can promise you won't be disappointed.

Ken McGrath

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