This review is written by Kevin McCarthy, 10/99
"Kevin and Maxine’s Celtic & Folk Music CD Reviews"
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This is an eclectic slice of celtic music--a potpourri of flute, whistle, guitar, fiddle, pipes, drums and vocals, sometimes in traditional form, sometimes in a rock-tinged vein, sometimes even with a country music-like spin. O'Loughlin's musical resume includes membership in various Irish showbands, plus solo stints performing celtic, folk, popular and country music.The variety of his musical experiences are all evident and presented here.
"Cry for Unity," with a touch of electric guitar, is a slow-paced plea for an end to the sectarian violence in Northern Ireland. "Gallant Band" praises the patriots who made it possible for Ireland to become a free nation, while a la "Cry for Unity, " similarly states it is time for all to experience peace, freedom and liberty.
"Step Together" is an expatriate's remembrance of the small things that go a long way in forming community in rural Ireland while "I Want to Come Back" portrays the importance of and need to hold on to memories. "Here Comes the Night Again" continues the theme of the warmth of distant but pleasant memories ever so hazily dimmed by the thoughts of having left before and having to leave again.
The fiddle and percussion-backed "Life of the Party," jauntily detailing a road trip through the west of Ireland, has a catchy, pleasing rhythm. "Bonfires," fueled by harmonica backing, with percussion and electric guitar touches, solidly captures the revelry of a 'fest in May' party.
O'Loughlin moved to the States in 1986, after performing for years in Ireland. This, his first release, is an interesting melange of sounds and ideas. So much so that there is no pigeonhole quite appropriate for placement of his music. So just enjoy.
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