Ye Vagabonds: The Hare’s Lament review – Fine folk revivalism

Fri, Mar 15, 2019, 05:00


The Hare's Lament

Ye Vagabonds

River Lea


Brothers Brian and Diarmuid MacGloinn release their second album in under two years and it’s a cavern of delights. The duo are central to the recent folk revival: where bare-bone vocals and deliciously austere arrangements are a hallmark of the sound, and where the song reigns supreme.

Ye Vagabonds make their own a diverse range of traditional songs rooted in the Irish and English folk canons on The Hare’s Lament. Willie o Winsbury, the Child Ballad, and a song long associated with Andy Irvine, is a perfect calling card for this entire collection: harmonium heralding a winsome tale, recounted with a delicate intimacy that celebrates the medieval language of milk-white steeds, a lovesick king’s daughter and the dashing suitor of the title.

Dá mBéinn i Mo Bháidóir encapsulates the essence of this album: the pair’s Irish-language storytelling is crystal clear, rooted in a vocal style owing much to the Donegal singing tradition, and bathed in fiddle and bouzouki that meander languorously along its path.

Further delights abound: from a little-known take on The Foggy Dew to the pastoral adventures of the title character. A labyrinthine treasure trove.