I thought I had retired from reviewing music when we closed down the Danish Irish Society Newsletter. Still, getting the opportunity to review Mˇrga’s “For the Sake of auld Times” was a chance I couldn’t let pass me by. I got the CD just before Christmas and didn’t really have the time to sit down and listen to it properly. Instead it has been played over and over again while I have been doing other things. I have really taken to it and hardly a day goes by now where I don’t listen to it.
Since their first CD Mˇrga have changed one brilliant accordeon player with another. Dave Munnelly is the new “boxer” and he has always been one of my favourite box players. Being Danish I am probably a bit biased, but Jonas Fromseier is just an amazing banjo player. He has got “that” sound and feeling many banjo players lack and he is in the league with the best Irish players. Danny Diamond is a great fiddle player who has been breast fed Irish music, so it’s no wonder that he has become so good. The bodhran is normally not my favourite instrument, but there are a few players who can add something to the equation and Dominic Keogh is one of them (He is also heard on flute on the CD).
On paper Mˇrga is just another “standard” Irish line up, but they have a synergy effect which makes them so enjoyable to listen to. The production of the CD is just perfect - each instrument complements the others so well.
It’s interesting that such a relative young crowd is so heavily inspired by Irish music played in the 1920’s by the great masters in the US. But again – why wouldn’t they be? It was a period of wonderful music.
Many readers of my reviews think I don’t like singing, but this is not true, I just prefer instrumental music and that is what we get here. Twelve sets of the finest instrumental music I have heard in a long time and not a single song. Some would probably miss a song, but when the music is as good as this, there’s no need for songs.
Whether you are new to Irish music or have been listening to it for years, you will enjoy “For the Sake of auld Times”. Get hold of a copy and start wearing your CD player out – you will play it over and over again.
Morga002 (January 2014)