Claddagh is Liam Tiernan and Alan Loughnane; two seasoned Irish musicians who have come together only recently. We can only ask, "What took them so Long?" Their sound is an amalgam of complementary talents. Liam's poignant baritone, Alan's soaring fiddle. Liam's sense of drama, Alan's melodic phrasing. These and many other factors combine here to make an album you will want to play again and again.
The songs are well chosen and freshly performed; from Tommy Makem's sea song, "Farewell to Carlingford" to Pete St. John's statement about the hopelessness of the famine years in Ireland, "The Fields Of Anthemy", they run the gamut of contemporary Folk songs to traditional dance tunes. Eric Bogel's two commentaries on the folly and suffering of war are here; "The Band Played Waltzing Matilda" and "The Green Fields of France"; and the Ralph McTell opus, "The Streets of London", which reminds us how lucky we all are. A personal favorite is the unique treatment of the traditional, "Lord of the Dance", which is entwined properly with two Irish reels, "The Sally Gardens" and "The High Reel."
Liam's voice fairly soars through the beautiful Mike Smith song of lasting love, "The Dutchman"; and the Acapella epic, "Old Man's Song", about three generations of working class anguish. "Farewell to the Rhonda" speaks of the plight of the Welsh miners with the pit closures in the valleys.
Alan's fiddle is the singer for the remaining songs; the "Hen's March to the Midden", with fiddle and chicken sound effects; and the ever popular "Orange Blossom Special", that is a challenge Just tapping your fool to, at the tempo Alan takes it.
This is one of those rare records you may need two of. I think you'll wear the first one out in just a few days.