- 13 May 22
Strong third album from Carlow brothers
The latest LP from brothers Diarmuid and Brían Mac Gloinn doesn’t deviate hugely from the established Ye Vagabonds blueprint. The brothers combine traditional ballads and laments, many as Gaeilge, with some original compositions, all delivered in their instantly recognisable style – twin vocals over a minimalist backdrop.
The duo are joined by a host of excellent musicians, including the legendary Cormac Begley on concertina, as well as Crash Ensemble’s Kate Ellis (cello) and Caimin Gilmore (double bass); Ryan Hargadon (piano, sax); and longtime touring member, Alain McFadden (harmonium). It is the brothers’ voices, though, which remain the draw, soaring to magical effect on ‘An Island’ and ‘Go Away And Come Back Hither’.
Instrumental ‘The Humours Of Glin’ starts slowly but morphs into a sprightly jig around the three-minute mark, while ‘The Munster Jig’ does exactly what it says on the tin. ‘Lord Gregory’ is an old Scottish/Irish folk song, where a single mother claims the local nobleman as the father of her child.
Like most such tunes, things don’t end well, but in the Mac Gloinns’ hands, the journey is nonetheless beautiful, as is the yearningly gorgeous ‘Blue Is The Eye’. Three albums in and the quality control remains as high as ever.
Read our interview with Ye Vagabonds in the new issue of Hot Press, out now: