Cora Smyth comes from a strong family background of Irish music, growing up in County Mayo and has spent the last 10 years touring with various groups and shows. Her first album (a traditional Irish collection) was released with sister Breda in 2006.
I was intrigued by what I’d read about Cora Smyth from before putting on the CD - ’multi-dimensional backdrop of influences’ sounded promisingly exciting and varied. Sadly the CD itself doesn’t live up to these promises - the tunes are in general overshadowed by the backdrop beats rather than blending seamlessly with them. For a musician described as a fiddler and a whistler, these instruments are often lost in the mix with a lot to distract from them.
However, ’Valentino’ stands out as one of the better tracks - the tune fitting nicely with the flamenco backdrop. The slower tracks tend to be weaker, with background and tune not blending nearly as well as they do on the faster tunes. That said, Banyuls stands out as on of the better tracks, with a nice blend of guitar accompaniment with fiddle.
The Double O Jig starts off much as you might expect from an irish fiddle tune, with a surprisingly catchy rhythm, before launching into the main body of the tune, though slightly lacking enough variety to keep the listener’s interest.
The album ends with two gentle tunes, but overall I would be hard-pressed to call this anything but background music.Eleanor White
Released by Wedge on 11 December 2008
1. Seansky March - 4:09
2. 50 Cent Jig - 3:07
3. Gypsy’s Skip - 1:57
4. To The Tequilla Bar - 3:57
5. Echo Fidelis - 5:55
6. Valentino - 3:49
7. Double O Jig - 3:42
8. Banyuls - 3:41
9. The Musical Priest - 3:51
10. Sinking The Ark - 3:20
11. Tranquillo - 5:11
12. Sergeant Early’s Dream - 3:23