Double Play

Compass 7-4502-2

A new Liz Carroll release is always a treat, but this one is a special joy. It’s designed to be the bookend release to 2005’s In Play, but as the rich collaboration between Carroll and Doyle has evolved, Doyle has become less an accompanist and more of a full partner. The 2005 Carroll/Doyle release was all instrumental; this one has three superb songs from Doyle as well. Everyone knows about Doyle’s fretted wizardry, but he remains a vastly underrated vocalist. His cover of the miners’ strike song “A Pound a Week Rise” pulses with poignancy (as does his spectacular guitar work), but the gentle “Down at the Wakehouse” stands as both contrast and testament to his ability to change moods through the colors of his voice. Carroll is, as always, a force unto herself. She can scratch it out like she’s at a late-night session (“The Chandelier”), slow it down to tug on the heartstrings (“Lament for Tommy Makem”), set your feet dancing (“John Cahill’s Jig”), or clean out the hall and take no prisoners (“Paddy Glackin’s Trip to Dingle”). Double Play is twice as good as its predecessor, something I would not hitherto have believed possible.
For a sense of how the two synergize see this 2006 clip from Celtic Colours: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tRU-Yn_RPJQ
And to see what boring gits men in suits are see this clip from the 2009 St. Patrick's Day celebration at the White House. Check out the bald guy who refuses to let his cool slip:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OPoIosUBr9Y

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