Here & There (self-produced)
Here & There is Cormorant’s Fancy’s second release and with it they show they have made great progress on all fronts: from a great debut (An Evening at the Fairfield Inn) by the south-central PA-based band, to an excellent follow up.
As with their first effort, they’ve made an interesting selection in terms of content. There are some old favorites nestling in with other songs not so often heard nowadays. Arrangements are simple and effective—or rather, they are simply effective. Rhythm is provided by percussion, bass and guitar, melodies by fiddle, whistles and concertina.
A seven-piece band offers many opportunities in terms of singing and the group takes full advantage of that. Lead vocals are provided by Andy Rosenfeld (bones), Beth Folkemer (guitar), Joel Folkemer (bass, bodhrán) and Meg Folkemer (whistle) with Stephen Folkemer (concertina) also adding his voice.
Yes, Cormorant’s Fancy seems very much a ‘family’ band, especially with another Folkemer, Nathan, also guesting on whistle. But although there are many Folkmers in the group, they are much more than that—much of their sound revolves around the fiddling of Norman Nunamaker and Dan Diviney’s whistle and bodhrán playing.
At a little over an hour for the 13 tracks, it might appear long (you know, being brought up on vinyl, I really like 45- minute-long recordings!), but with the strong performances, the variety in the track selection, the well-written liner notes and the overall excellent quality of recording, the album flies by. I’m left with the lingering enjoyment of Beth’s unaccompanied singing on “The Sad Courting” and Diviney’s haunting low whistle on “Kilkelly, Ireland.” www.cormorantsfancy.com Album Review by Jamie O'Brien, January 2010 Irish Edition
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