No Harps No Angels
Scott Brennan-Smith | Chico, CA United States | 08/24/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I've never understood why the name Patrick Street is not on the lips of every Irish music fan as the outstanding proponent of the genre. Indeed they are, and indeed this album stands as the high point of their recorded output. From the intricate and textured arrangement of dance tunes (the interpay of fiddle, accordian, harmonica and mandolin as lead instruments with a dense and driving underpinning from guitar and bazouki) to the sweet and lyrical voice of Andy Irvine on songs he has composed from old ballads and verses, Patrick Street has managed to do what so many more bands have tried to do but failed: remain true to the melodic and ornamental traditions of Irish music while providing an exciting and updated approach to arrangement. There's not a tune or song here that doesn't stand out as a perfect synthesis of the old and new, but the centerpiece of the album is Irvine's elaborate "Pity the Poor Hare" suite, based around his own intricate bazouki style. Irvine has elsewhere utilized the narrative of the hunt to embody the fate of the Irish throughout their tortured history (The Creggan White Hare, for instance), and on this album the effort is every bit as convincing. It is the overlooked song on an overlooked album by a generally overlooked band. The problem, perhaps, is that Patrick Street is so consistently good that people may take them for granted. Sad that we can feel disappointed when we cannot be surprised by yet another brilliant effort. Perhaps Patrick Street is too much the real thing; it is certainly not the new age harps and angels people seem to expect from "celtic" music. Thank heavens."
Bretons got no luck at all.
Creighton | Vancouver, WA United States | 04/20/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Celtic music, especially the music of Bretagne, Ireland and Wales, celtic music touches the heart with smiles. It's better to cry one's tears in laughter than in pain.When I first saw this CD, 'twas in a bin of forgotten treasures (the cut-out bin! OK!).Just buy it. If you don't like it, I'll buy a pint for you in any proper pub within, within a robust trek to the tavern!c"