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Danny Moore of Rock n Reel

reviews Grand Conversation by Mick Ryan & Paul Downes

3 Star rating

Mick Ryan and Paul Downes combine as a duo for the first time on Grand Conversation.

Renowned performers within the folk and wider roots music scene, from the off the assured confidence in the robust vocal delivery of Ryan and the similarly strong performances from Downes, on guitar, banjo, mandola, mandolin or offering supporting vocals, consistently impresses. There are stylish adaptations of traditional songs such as the title track, transportation ballad ‘Young Men All’ and Irish standard ‘Banks Of The Bann’. Elsewhere, Ryan’s self penned compositions - taken from his acclaimed folk musicals, ‘Reprisals’, ‘Put Them Down’, ‘The Lark Above The Downs’ and the pastiche ‘Green Island’, see the pair satisfy with refreshingly zestful performances.