Dallahan: Smallworld

review dallahan x1 cong

This is a tasty folk / roots album.

The opener is an instrumental, Aye Chiki, which uses instrumentation typical of any folk band but — as the name might suggest — with an Eastern flavour. The beat (to our ears) is Tartar, and reminiscent of some of the music we collected following a recent trip to Turkey. It’s actually two tunes, Nobody’s Trip to Prague and Aye Chiki, and it’s the former with the Eastern proclivity.

We’ve not heard of the band before but their website says they were “forged” in Scotland and Ireland’s traditional music but draw on the traditional music styles of the Balkans and North America, and blend jazz, funk, and pop. That seems fair.

Track two is Footsteps, a firmly Western folk/pop tune, while Terrarium is an instrumental, with all the instruments playing a breakneck speed; it’s possibly a reel (we counted the beats, don’t think it’s a jig) and like the opener it’s composed of three different songs. Metal bands delight fans with shredding, and this is the folk equivalent; massive round of applause played live, we guess.

As it plays through, they generally stick to a more traditional sound, using traditional lyrics and / or tune, instrumentals aside; closer is Arok Arok, a Gypsy/Balkan flavour ending the album.

Dallahan was originally singer/guitarist Jack Badcock and multi-instrumentalist Ciarán Ryan, and while gigging and busking, the pair met Hungarian fiddler Jani Lang; the new album sees the introduction of piano accordion player Andrew Waite. Good stuff for folk and even world music fans.


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