Boys Of The Lough: Cathal McDonnell (vocals, flute, whistle); Christy O'Leary (vocals, Uillean pipes, whistle, harmonica); John Coakley (guitar, piano); Dave Richardson (cittern, mandolin, tenor banjo, concertina); Aly Bain (fiddle).
Producers: Peter Harris, Boys Of The Lough.
Recorded at Castle Sound Studios, Pencaitland, East Lothian, Scotland.
The opening medley on TO WELCOME PADDY HOME, an amalgam of four highland jigs and reels, heads off this collection in the manner Boys of the Lough fans have come to expect. Celtic folk music, played with verve and a deep respect for tradition, has been the keep of this ensemble (who, in this incarnation, hail from Ireland, Northumberland, and Shetland) since the early '70s.
TO WELCOME expands the sound of those early albums by adding Uillean pipes, harmonica, and concertina to their usual instrumentation of fiddle, mandolin, guitar, flutes, and whistles. Plaintive airs, like the title track and "Miss Rowan Davies," alternate with waltzes, marches, hornpipes, and a host of speedy, looping reels, such as the medley "The Antrim Rose/Miss McGuinness/Brereton's." Irish guitarist and pianist John Coakley replaced late band member Tich Richardson here, and the band sounds as cohesive and polished as ever. Strong material, sprightly energy, and top-drawer musicianship make TO WELCOME PADDY HOME another fine addition to The Boys' long discography.