The Hernon brothers, P.J. on accordion and melodeon, and Marcus on flute, are joined by guitar player and singer Don Stiffe (guitar, vocals) and call themselves Feenish on this new CD which features the brothers' unmistakable, full-steam-ahead, brand of Irish dance music. Having dancers in the studio cheering and whooping away, as well as battering the floor (bringing back memories of the classic MacMahon/Hill "Knocknagree" recording), brings an air of informality and draws in the listener as if at a house party. The tunes include dance favourites as well as a couple of Marcus' own compositions.
Guesting on the album is Down the Ivory Stairs piano player Padraic O'Reilly, who shows his agility playing The Donegal Reel in unison with Marcus's flute. Stiffe is a capable singer with a powerful voice that has just the right "edge" to it, and does a nice job on the four songs on the album, including an impressive Skibereen. The whole album has the comfortable feel of an evening at the corner pub with a friendly crowd and a skillful group of musicians. A most enjoyable album.
Editor’s appenda: ‘Rabharta’ can mean both ‘spring tide’ or ‘flood’ and also ‘a full blast of music or song’; Feenish itself is the name of an island off the coast of Connemara.
This review by Philippe Varlet was originally written for his Celtic Grooves Newsletter and appears here by kind permission of the author.
For more information about Feenish and the Hernon brothers contact firstname.lastname@example.org.