The Irish Times - Friday - The Ticket - - MUSIC REVIEWS - SIOB­HÁN LONG

Land­less & Free

In­de­pen­dent re­lease The healthy state of our bal­lad and folk tra­di­tion is un­der­scored weekly in club gath­er­ings such as An Góilín and the Clé Club. Fer­gus Rus­sell is a regular in the for­mer since the late 1980s, and this col­lec­tion is a snap­shot of a singer in thrall of the songs. Here the sto­ries reign supreme: porter, pol­i­tics and the River Pod­dle (among other more ne­far­i­ous in­flu­ences) colour and shade the pi­caresque land­scape through which Rus­sell trav­els with verve. He is vo­cally limited in range, and his phras­ing oc­ca­sion­ally suc­cumbs to a sprint­ing pace, but the essence of his de­liv­ery clearly lies in live per­for­mance.

Land­less & Free (a ref­er­ence to “Lord Land­less”) is more a state of mind than a po­lit­i­cally fu­elled mission, and this col­lec­tion of­fers some bright baubles for singers scat­tered from Inishowen to Sk­ib­bereen and points west. goilin.com

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