IRISH TRAD and folk enjoy an unprecedented worldwide popularity, but it is easy to forget where it all began in the late 1960s and 1970s and the great debt owed to an earlier generation of ballad and folk singers.
The songs and contributions of Luke Kelly, Ronnie Drew, Christy Moore, Paul Brady, Johnny Moynihan, Andy Irvine, and the late Joe Dolan, should be celebrated and command an important place in the repertoire of contemporary Irish folk musicians
The Lakeshore Town, the new album by Oughterard trad music group Ardvarna - Pat Conneely, Gerry D’Arcy, and Denis Geoghegan - is such a celebration. The album will be launched on Monday at 3pm in The Boat Inn, Oughterard. Matt Keane will be the MC.
What a cracking collection of great songs is on The Lakeshore Town. There are classics and new songs, drawn from the Irish and English folk traditions and one Pat learned from the charismatic Aussie Brian Mooney.
There are songs of heroes, Travellers, tall tales, celebrations of country life, and love lost, unrequited, and illicit. The title track, ‘The Lakeshore Town’ penned by Gerry, beautifully depicts life in Oughterard and on the banks of the Corrib.
All these songs are delivered with passion and fervour and there is magnificent use of harmonies heard to best effect on the great drinking song ‘The Jug of Punch’.
If this were not treasure enough there are several sets of lively and spirited tunes, waltzes, reels, jigs, and hornpipes. I know that whenever I listen to this album I will be wishing to be ‘boozing’ in The Lakeshore Town, joining in the odd chorus of a good old style drinking song.