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The Incident

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Album Review

One thing about Beoga's third album — it's a very good-natured Irish beast. Yes, there's the abject sadness of "Mary Danced with Soldiers" for some variety, but most of the rest of this is upbeat and joyous, beginning with the raucous set of "Lamped." There's plenty of fabulous playing, as on "The Flying Golf Club" and the glorious "Fly Fishing," whose second half is delicious madness, while "The Bellevue Waltz" explodes into a huge swell of sound toward the end. Fiddler and singer Niamh Dunne turns in some sterling vocal performances on covers of Clifford T. Ward's gentle "The Best Is Yet to Come" (an ideal closer) and an unusual take on "Strange Things," transposing the gospel of Sister Rosetta Tharpe to Ireland in a far better way than it should. There are plenty of guests, but they never distract from the core, gleeful sound of the band, even when guest vocalist Ciaran Gribbin takes over singing chores on the hilarious "On the Way." They're equally comfortable on jigs, reels, waltzes and songs, complex but never convoluted. There's very little of the tradition on show, but it's all ineffably Irish — and it all has a smile on its face.


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...
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The Incident, Beoga
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