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Mischief

Beoga

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Album Review

Beoga bills itself as a traditional band, but don't be fooled. With their unusual instrumentation (twin lead accordions, piano, bodhran, and fiddle) and their Catholic taste in rhythms and tune sources, Beoga's second album title is aptly chosen. Notice, for example, the way the title track starts out in a slyly reggae-ish vein before splitting up into a fractured rhythmic structure while remaining spare and dry in texture. Notice also how fiddler/singer Niamh Dunne's original jig "Luka's Wake" suddenly segues into a dirty funk interlude which then gives way to the sounds of the Prague Philharmonic Orchestra and a smooth jazz horn section. When the singing starts it's an American song called "The Factory Girl" (which, to be fair, could just as easily be an Irish one), and then it's a Steely Dan tune, and then it's a Tin Pan Alley pop song from the 1920s. This is the kind of willful eclecticism that, without due care, could come across as mere gimcrackery and nose-thumbing, but with Beoga it sounds more gleeful and a little bit, well, mischievous. It's also worth noting that when they dig into a set of traditional reels or dark, midtempo jigs, they sound at least as good as the best trad band out there; maybe better. The orchestral bits are more hit and miss. Highly recommended overall.

Biography

Formed: County Antrim, Ireland

Genre: World

Years Active: '00s, '10s

Based in County Antrim, Northern Ireland, Irish folk outfit Beoga (the Irish word for "lively") formed in 2002 around the talents of Seán Óg Graham (accordion/guitar), Damian McKee (accordion), Eamon Murray (bodhrán), and Liam Bradley (piano). Born out of the folk dance scene, the group's 2004 debut, A Lovely Madness, offered up a spirited collection of reworked traditional Irish folk songs and original compositions that flirted with jazz and R&B. In 2005 the group was joined by classically trained...
Full bio
Mischief, Beoga
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  • 8,99 €
  • Genres: World, Music, Celtic
  • Released: 05 June 2007

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