Dirty Linen - p.78
"[T]his is a great collection. Favorites among the 16 tracks include the sprightly 'Leckan Mor,' the slow-burning 'Black River,' and an exciting new version of 'Morning Nightcap' that may well sear your speaker cabinets."
L£nasa: Donogh Hennessy (guitar, guitars, acoustic guitar, electric guitar, steel guitar, nylon-string guitar); David Odlum (guitar, acoustic guitar); Tim Edey, Paul Meehan (guitars); Conor Brady (acoustic guitar, electric guitar); Sean Smyth (fiddle, whistle); Trevor Hutchinson (cello, bass instrument, double bass); Kevin Crawford (flute, bamboo flute, whistle, tin whistle, bodhran); Michael McGoldrick (flute, Uilleann pipe); Cillian Vallely (whistle, Uilleann pipe); John McSherry (Uilleann pipe); David Hingerty (percussion).
Celebrating just over ten years together, and still progressing, one of Ireland's best instrumental ensembles show how they've done it, and it's still magic. What sets them apart is the vivid interaction of instruments and the versatility of the musicians and the arrangements. You can have one track with a pair of whistles and a flute (as on "The Miller of Drohan") or strip things down to guitar, fiddle, and double bass with "Punch." A couple of early tracks, including the opener, "Morning Nightcap" have been re-recorded with the latest lineup, while many of the cuts from earlier albums have fresh mixes. L£nasa stand as the heirs to the Bothy Band for their style, which has more freedom than most Irish bands, but it's a freedom that's born out of great instrumental discipline and technique. This may stand as a best-of, but even so every moment is a delight, moving from one wonder to the next, always with a strong sense of daring and adventure. There's also the sense that, just over a decade along, the story is barely beginning, which makes it all the more exciting. The playing is superb, the imagination even better, and it's no wonder they're already legends. ~ Chris Nickson