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Maggie Moore of Mardles

reviews When Every Song was New by Mick Ryan and Paul Downes

This is a beautiful CD, full of traditional folk songs to which this duo have returned, harking back to their earlier careers on the folk scene where they gathered material from many a floor singer in the clubs. Mick is the main vocalist throughout, using a very simple straightforward style which I find really refreshing and also extremely respectful to each song both the words and the music.

Paul adds an accompaniment (as well as occasional vocal harmonies) which, whilst being entirely at one with the singing and never intrusive, is nevertheless beautifully executed and accomplished, using a combination of guitar, banjo, and mandolin.
I have to confess I have not seen this pair perform (I don't get out much), so I have nothing with which to compare this offering of theirs. All I can say is that I like what they do very much. I also love their choice of guest musicians, who join Paul with accompanying each track. They are: Maggie Boyle on flute and bodhran, Gill Redmond on cello, Keith Kendrick on concertina and Tom Leary playing fiddle.

I also very much enjoyed their choice of songs... One Night as 1 Lay on My Bed, The January Man (a lovely version), Knife in the Window, The Lover's Ghost, and Mick's own song and the title track When Every Song was New etc.