Another Victory for Bua. Guest review by Patrick Fitzell, Program Director at AccuRadio, an Internet radio station based in Chicago.
In the spring of their musical careers, Chicago-based trad group Bua is in full bloom. After a hectic summer festival tour schedule, it’s amazing they somehow found time to spend in the studio. The result, their sophomore release Down the Green Fields is a wonderful compilation exemplifying each musician’s years of dedication to their craft.
Brían Ó hAirt provides pristine vocals on songs “shrouded in mystery” like “My Parents Reared Me Tenderly.” He is also a skilled sean-nós or “old style” Irish dancer and can liven up any crowd with a stomp of his foot. Séan Gavin breaths new life into “The Happy Days of Youth,” a tune popularized by flute player John McKenna back in the 20s. Brian Miller, whose picking skills are in high demand, executes perfect accompaniment on bouzouki to Ó hAirt’s vocals for the playful minstrel-like songs “Baba ‘con Raoi” and “Bó na Leath-Adhairce.” Just as Gavin plays a piper’s tune and shines, so too does Devin Shepherd on fiddle performing “Hughie Traver’s Jig.”
Having only released two full-length studio albums, Bua’s contributions to the trad scene are invaluable. (Previous Fiddlefreak review is here.) The liner notes of Down the Green Fields list the origin of each song and tune. It’s a testament to their level of commitment to preserving and furthering traditional Irish music. Look for them on tour in 2012. –Patrick Fitzell
LISTEN: Eddie Maloney’s / Micho Russel’s (Mason’s Apron)
LISTEN: The Happy Days of Youth / Lucky in Love