|22 × 16 × .50 cm
Pam & Norm Merrigan have been playing traditional music for over 20 years in a variety of bands and incarnations which have included performances at festivals as diverse as the National Folk Festival, Port Fairy and the Tamworth Country Music Festival (twice won the National Battle of the Bush Bands), as well as tours to South-East Asia, Ireland and the UK, and performances for television, radio, and at major venues including the Sydney Opera House. While a major focus of their music reflects a strong connection to their Irish ancestry the Merrigans also incorporate strong Celtic influences into their music especially those that can be linked to Australia. Pam and Norm Merrigan are also the resident musicians for the Sydney Irish Ceili Dancers.
CD REVIEW – Alan Blakelock
The rich heritage of Irish music is strongly represented in this finely crafted album.
Traditional songs and airs are given a freshness that makes for enjoyable listening.
Songs and instrumentals are cleverly mixed and matched – as in the opening track, where Pam’s rendition of “Girls of the Shamrock Shore” flows in to a lively reel by Norm on the button accordion.
The haunting lyrics of “Man from Connemara” deal with maintaining identity whilst living in a new country.
This connection between Ireland and Australia is the central theme of the album.
Mood and style shifts in the three tunes “CapeClear/Down” by the “Glenside/Crested Hens”.
This is arguably one of the best tracks on the album.
Pam’s solo whistle at the beginning is as good as it gets. The rebellious nature of Irish convict life is covered in “Vinegar Hill” and “Bold Jack Donohue”.
The latter uses an air that gives a well known song a new appeal.
Jig and reel rhythms throughout the album are pure Irish “foot-tapping” joy.
A track that brings us right up to the present time is “Men of Anzac” written by Norm.
The lyrics reflect the present government’s questionable treatment of refugees and indigenous Australians.
Whatever your political persuasions it is a song with a great melody and great backing by Pam on the alto saxophone.
The finale “Bellbirds of Kurrajong” is a beautiful simple melody written and performed by Norm that suggests the solace to be gained by the simplicity of nature.
The album has excellent variety and balance.
This is achieved by the quality and diversity of instruments played by the Merrigans.
12 Tracks, 53 minutes all worth it , Highly recommended!
14 in stock (can be backordered)