Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
From the Archives
Genres: Folk, World Music, Pop
An Excellent Collection
A. Bowdoin Vanriper | Marietta, GA USA | 07/18/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Tommy Makem is always a joy to listen to, and the 23 tracks on this CD give you a lot of joy for the money. Many of the tunes will be unfamiliar to all but hardcore fans, and even the familiar ones ("Little Beggarman," for example) have a spare and unpolished quality compared to later recordings. "Four Green Fields" particularly benefits from the minimalism. Makem's performances of the song seemed to get more grandiose as it got more famous, until the music overwhelmed the lyrics. Here, in a stripped-down version, it becomes the simple lament that the lyrics have always suggested it ought to be.That said, all but the most hardcore Makem fans are probably buying this disc for the tunes they *haven't* heard a million times. What those tunes are will vary from listener to listener, but chances are you'll find many new favorites. Mine include "Vancouver" (a song about, of all things, a sailor coming *home* from a voyage), "New York Girls" (a comic gem about the dangers of consorting with strange women met in bars), and "Leatherwing Bat," which feels like an old-as-the-hills folk song but was new to me. They aren't *all* gems, of course: Makem's slightly sanitized "Killyburn Brae" doesn't hold a candle to the Dubliners' version of the same tune, and the quasi-Spanish guitar on "Venezuela" does nothing at all for me. Still, these are minor lows in an album full of highs. Shanachie has done its usual superb production job, and (were it not for the thoughtfully honest title) I'd never have guessed that these tracks were reissues."From The Archives" is a worthy addition to any fan's collection, and (for fans-to-be a pretty fair introduction the solo work of one of the great Irish folksingers."