Push & Pull
(self-produced, 2006)

Once again, I have a great album to play but little information to go on. The group members' names and the contents of the CD indicate Irish origins, but the disc's manufacture in the U.S. suggests more likely an Irish-American source. The songs are possibly self-composed where they are not traditional, but again the lack of credits is a problem.

"Reflection" is a well-performed opener that will encourage further listening. There is a definite folk influence on "City Life," but this is an upbeat urban folk song with edge that should sound great in a live performance. "Best Worst Time" is another strong track worthy of airplay.

The possible traditional origins are confirmed on a great selection of polkas including "The Knitter." "Donegal Maiden" is an excellent song well delivered once more.

My favourite track on offer here is "September Skies." The title may indicate the theme of this sad story-song. Unlike so many songs written about the tragedy of 9-11, it uses less than direct language to address the matter but it is all the stronger for that. This is a song with great potential if heard by enough people.

Blackthorn is a group that plays great music with the musicians' hearts and souls as well as hands. The band deserves a wide audience.

by Nicky Rossiter
10 February 2007