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NIAMH PARSONS & GRAHAM DUNNE
Live at Fylde
Claddagh Records
***

Parsons and Dunne have established their identity as a duo, but this live recording is a mixed bag: spanning the breadth of Parsons's career, from Arcady and Loose Connections to her solo work. Her voice flourishes in the darkest depths of a song, touching the void that few singers reach. Her reading of One Morning in May soars, Dunne's unhurried accompaniment adding further buoyancy. At times though, the momentum falters. An Páistín Fionn flounders under Parsons's bilingual interpretation, and Dunne's own L'Entrada de l'Angestura suffers from an over-earnestness that lures the listener towards its technical proficiency rather than its heartbeat. Ron Kavana's The Men That God Made Mad is a revelatory snapshot of contemporary songwriting writ large on a canvas that few singers master, but Parsons does so effortlessly. www.niamhparsons.com

Siobhán Long