Black Irish Band,
The Long Way to Tipperary
(Black Irish, 2005)

The Long Way to Tipperary features 15 tracks ranging from a shanty (spelled chantey, in this case) to a "come-all-ye," and is a great album with which to open your personal concert at home with the Black Irish Band.

"Stowing Sugar in the Hold" was new to me and is a wonderful work song from the American steamboat days. The band follows this with a marvelous combination of songs, nations and styles, with "Tarantella," the traditional Italian dance tune, segueing into Gary Moore's "Over the Hills & Far Away." From there they alternate between Irish and American traditional fare, with the odd Canadian song included.

Tracks include "Irish Rover," "The Mermaid" and "Drunken Sailor," ending with the title track combined with "Over There."

I would make special mention of a lovely "Yosemite Waltz" from the pen of band member Patrick Michael Karnahan. It is a beautiful tune that will transport anyone who has experienced that park back to its magic.

by Nicky Rossiter
28 January 2006

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