Pat Kelleher,
Songs of the Sea
(Long Neck, 2005)

Pat Kelleher opens Songs of the Sea with "Boys of Killybegs" before quieting it down again with "Three Score & Ten" (which he incorrectly attributes as traditional). Peggy Seeger's "Lifeboat Mona" is perhaps a little less well-known, but is one of the finest story songs about the sea and the people who live by it. The theme is continued on Phil Coulter's "Home from the Sea."

You also get the shanties like "Haul Away Joe" alongside the rollicking "The Holy Ground," for many listeners their introduction to folk songs related to the sea. One of the best of writers of the genre is represented by his great song of inspiration -- "Mary Ellen Carter" from the pen of Stan Rogers. Kelleher also gives us a few new or newish songs, like "Blue Nose" by David Martins.

Pat Kelleher has an obvious affinity for the sea and its songs, and if you listen to this offering you will want to get on those oilskins and sou'wester to feel the wind and smell the salt air.

by Nicky Rossiter
28 January 2006

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