While visiting California from the East Coast, folklorist Mick Moloney once commented to me that he always enjoys it when he discovers traditional Irish music thriving out on the “fringe.” This fact has been again proven by the new release from Sacramento-based quintet Nine-8ths Irish, titled “Out on the Ocean” (FGM Records, produced by Craig Long). This is a cracking collection of session-proven jigs and reels, with a smattering of strong singing and some very impressive original tunes composed by Linda Relph.
The band’s sound revolves around Linda’s crystalline fiddling, with the solid support of Kathy Barwick (guitar), Bo Bowen (whistles), Brady McKay (vocals), and Chris Dunlap (bodhran). Here is a song written by Archie Fisher that they combine with one of Linda’s reels, and a lively reel set that kicks off with another of her tunes. Enjoy!