Len Graham

In Full Flight
Traditional Irish songs, ballads and lilts

Cranagh Music CMCD4452

Here I Am Amongst You; My Parents Reared Me Tenderly; The Beggarman; Castle Garden; Taglioni; Bold Doherty; The Boys of Mullaghbawn; The Crockery Ware; The Yellow Bittern; Seventeen Come Sunday; The Lass of Glenshee; Fishing for Eels; The Parting Glass/The Peacock's Feather.  Running time 45 minutes.
Cover picture What a delight this is - a whole CD from 2008 with not a single thing to complain about!  If only there were more like it popping through my letterbox.

Len Graham has, as you probably know, a beautiful, warm, tuneful voice ... but unlike so many other similarly endowed singers, he has not been cursed by it!  He sings with care, and knows full well that the words and the tune are only a part of what makes a good performance.  He knows how to communicate what he feels about what he's singing.

This is a live recording of a 2008 concert in St Paul, Minnesota, so it contains a wide variety of song types arranged into a pleasing programme.  The recording is of a very high quality, though there are a few instances of what sounds like poorly done edits ... this may actually be the CD 'skipping' - I hope so, since it would be a great shame if it was truly an editing problem; the only fault I've found on this lovely album.

Almost all the songs will be faily well known to MT readers; indeed several are well known within the English repertoire.  One that won't be is a collection of nonsense verses from the great John Campbell, called Fishing for Eels here, though John had it as The Ould Bog Hole.  I should also single out for particular praise My Parents Reared Me Tenderly, learned from Joe Holmes and Eddie Butcher - a truly lovely thing.

But there's nothing more that really needs to be said about this CD - it's absolutely delightful, and thoroughly deserves a place in your collection.  Get it from: www.storyandsong.com  or from Chivalry Music: https://www.chivalry.com/shopping/

Rod Stradling - 5.9.09

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