High on Spirits
Direct descendants of the ballad groups of yore which mixed 'popular' songs with great tune sets, Henry Marten's Ghost turn their back on pretentiousness and thumb their nose at 'sophistication' to give us a second shot of the 'straight, no-chaser' approach which they established on 2002's 'Ireland - A Troubled Romance'. Padraig Lalor (vocals, guitar) delivers some fine performances as he spars with fellow band-members Piotr Jordan (fiddle), Jill O'Shea (whistle, melodeon) and Huw Rees (drums). Tackling songs as well-known as those which appear on the CD is a risky business. Henry Marten's Ghost succeed because they shed new light on the material; they're not content to recreate some 'classic' version, but rather they re-interpret the songs, giving them a unique and unmistakable 'HMG' sound and feel. So too for the tune sets. Well-chosen tunes, played with vigour and attack and yet retaining that vital ounce of understatement. The band aimed for the feel of a typical HMG gig. Well, that being the case, a HMG gig is worth catching! To find out where and when they're next on-stage, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.