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How to Tune a Fish

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Album Review

Beoga's music is some of the friendliest to come out of Ireland and their fifth album continues the tradition they've established. It seduces with its easy, merry charm, but does add a few strange things from left field in order not to be completely straightforward, such as the touch of clavinet funk that spices up the second half of "Minute 5." They're all solid instrumentalists who work well together, and when they employ twin accordions it gives and excellent, sprightly attack to the jovial sound. Niamh Dunne is a singer of excellent emotion, whether laying down some country goodness on Rick Danko's "Home Cookin'" or giving a rising ache to "Our Captain Calls All Hands" or "Woman of No Place." In contrast to many Irish bands, Beoga write most of their own material, and excellent it is, too, with "Ballymacaldrick" and "Back in the Lab" as real standouts. Even if it's nothing groundbreaking, there's an abundance of open-hearted joy here, both for the players and the listeners.


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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How to Tune a Fish, Beoga
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