Well, need I say anything other than "It's Gregory Greene!"? If you caught my review of The Prodigals (here), his home group, or if you've been privy to their earlier CDs, you already have the sound and the story: just plain-out great music, singing, and heartfelt lyrics. Greene's instrumental baseline is as Irish as his pleasantly lilting voice and poetry, imbued with a gentle brogue and a concern for his fellow man and woman.
Boasting a dozen musicians for this solo outing, there's no lack for talent to wrap around that voice and those fingers (the latter busying themselves with an accordion) in instrumentals and ballads…and…man, can he ever play that 'cordine! Austin Tunes jumps up, downs a pint of gin, sparks a jig about the pub floor, and then goes bouncing off into the starry night. Of course, not every cut is a shot of bourbon and adrenalin but more than a few are and nicely dominate matters when they crop up. Even the slower tunes Like Crazy, an off-kilter ditty, can't help but start jitterbugging. It's in Greene's blood.
There's a prevalence of traditional tunes here, some of which possess olden airs more than others, such as Paper and Pins, but Greene well knows how to shape ancient and modern melodies without losing a shamrock blossom's worth of authenticity. Should your breast harbor a shade of doubt, cast an ear to his doleful a cappella / minimally self-accompanied reading of Cluan Meala, then bounce back up with the equally verdigris Nancy Brown—which, like all the songs here, benefits mightily from his adept arrangements—and be happily reassured. Thus, for this and his ongoing efforts hither and yon, Gregory Greene joins the ranks of the finest musicians extending Celtic fields and streams, culture and outlook, art and thought from olde Eire out to every shore worldwide.
Edited by: David N. Pyles
Copyright 2009, Peterborough Folk Music Society.
This review may be reprinted with prior permission and attribution.
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