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of fRoots

reviews Hard Season by Mick Ryan & Pete Harris

This disc is worth it for the opening track alone: Ryans composition I Wont Take That Lying Down is a stirring assertion of Irish dignity in the face of others ignorance. Many of the tracks that follow are familiar items from the trad repertoire (Recruited Collier, Spencer The Rover, Night Visiting Song and so on) but fine performances in every case, although in the end I kept finding myself skipping back to Ryans excellent and memorable compositions. Aside from the opener, these range from the exiles lament of Leaving Time to the comic saga of Willy Worrell, the latter boasting ingenious, distinctly non?folk lyric writing, with its source ? as far as Im concerned ? in a story (The Master Of Wit And Repartee) that I heard Phil Beer tell about 25 years ago. This one is well worth seeking out.