New Road - Stone Walls & Street Lights album review: a glorious soundscape with wide horizons

Stone Walls & Street Lights
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Artist: New Road
Genre: Folk
Label: Independent Release

This four-piece ensemble grew organically out of Kerry piper Leonard Barry’s last album of the same name.

Wider horizons beckon here, with a rich mix of tunes gathered together from Sliabh Luachra, Leitrim and as far afield as the Carolinas and Appalachia. Rick Epping's faultless harmonica lines make the cosiest of bedfellows for Barry's pipes, and the addition of Andy Morrow's fiddle and Seamie O'Dowd's guitar conspire to create a glorious, unfettered soundscape.

O'Dowd's and Epping's vocals add further layers of depth, particularly on a refreshing reading of The Galway Shawl and Saturday Night My Wife Died. The sleeve notes (with astute observations of misogyny in the song tradition of both Ireland and the US) are reason enough to opt for the hard copy.

Siobhán Long

Siobhán Long

Siobhán Long, a contributor to The Irish Times, writes about traditional music and the wider arts