WE BANJO 3

The Irish Times - Friday - The Ticket - - MUSIC - SIOB­HÁN LONG JOE BREEN

Gather the Good

re­lease

In­de­pen­dent A two-year time lapse can be a blink of an eye or a minia­ture life­time. We Banjo 3 have traced a par­tic­u­larly am­bi­tious arc since their 2012 de­but, The Roots of the Banjo Tree. Gather the Good sees them take their own sweet time with a finely cal­i­brated reper­toire, ex­ca­vat­ing be­neath the sur­face of each song with an in­ven­tive­ness honed on the back of a hec­tic live sched­ule. Their love of Amer­i­can Old Time and blue­grass is writ large here, am­pli­fied by the ad­di­tion of fid­dler Fer­gal Sc­ahill. But so is their own down-home orig­i­nal­ity, with David How­ley’s ti­tle song an­chor­ing the collection in a panoramic sweep of op­ti­mism. Enda Sc­ahill’s It’s Hard to Be 3 is an­other stand­out: con­tem­pla­tive and un­hur­ried, it lets the banjo breathe free, un­teth­ered from the head­long rush to­wards obliv­ion that can hold lesser play­ers in thrall. All in all, a de­li­ciously bear­able light­ness of be­ing. we­banjo3.com

KRIS DELMHORST

Blood Test Sig­na­ture Sounds There is at least one con­stant in Kris Delmhorst’s al­bums – they grow in stature with time. In a syn­chro­nis­tic twist, I bumped into the Bos­ton singer-song­writer’s last al­bum of new songs (Shot­gun Singer) on my iPod shortly be­fore this new one ar­rived. It sounded warm and fa­mil­iar, like be­ing em­braced by an old friend. It might take time for Delmhorst’s songs to do their work, but Blood Test al­ready feels nat­u­ral. Since Shot­gun Singer she has re­leased an al­bum of Cars cov­ers, had a daugh­ter with her part­ner, the song­writer Jef­frey Fou­cault, and the world has taken a cou­ple of turns for the worst. The lat­ter two form the emo­tional back­drop for Blood Test. Though Delmhorst’s hazy folk-rock touches Shawn Colvin ter­ri­tory with sublime melodies and moody ar­range­ments, the in­te­ri­or­ity of her lyrics and her softly smoky voice cre­ates her own un­der­stated space. Good to have her back. kris­delmhorst.com Down­load: Home­less , Bees, Light­house

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