BETWEEN TWO WORLDS (2009)
"Bursting with enthusiasm and tight, driving rhythm, this young Scots band has been polishing its performance over the past few years, taking its Scots/Irish amalgam of contemporary roots music round the folk club and festival circuit. Guitar, bouzouki, cittern, flute, fiddle and heartbeat-steady bodhran provide deft instrumental textures and two sets of dance tunes. Mainly up-tempo, the pace relaxes in Burns’ ‘Lea Rig’, and swings along with delicious harmony in McKenna’s own tune to the evergreen ‘Jolly Beggar’."
Norman Chalmers, The Scotsman
"Paul has a distinctive, clear voice and he tackles with aplomb a mixture of his own compositions and traditional numbers, some of which are sung to different airs, such as Red Mary to the tune of Willie Taylor, and Carnlough Bay to one of Paul’s melodies.
The instrumental arrangements and playing are outstanding throughout. The guitar and bouzoukis provide a rhythmic drive, the fiddle, flute and whistles intertwine beautifully and the bodhran is shown to be an instrument capable of subtlety and innovation.
They are a band whose live stage act is both engaging and memorable, and this release, adroitly recorded by the redoubtable Kris Koren and John Weatherby, captures that spark and vigour. In addition, this is one of those CDs which benefits from repeated listening, as there are layers of subtleties in there which just keep adding to the enjoyment."
Gordon Potter, The Living Tradition
"Singer-guitarist Paul Mckenna’s young band has been playing around the folk club and festival scene over the past three years, and this debut CD confirms their promise as well as showcasing their smart image.
Mckenna sings traditional and original songs in a wistful, quavering voice, lending urgency to narrative adventures such as The Jolly Beggar and Carnlough Bay and tenderness to Burns’s the Lea Rig. It’s very much a collective effort, though, with flute, fiddle (courtesy of newly crowned Young Scottish Traditional Musician of the Year 2009, Ruairidh Macmillan) and rythm arrangements bringing well-channelled energy to songs and instrumental sets alike.
Rob Adams, The Glasgow Herald
1. Ballad Of Accounting
2. Dancing In The Dark
3. The Sloe Switch
4. Between Two Worlds
5. The Jolly Beggar
6. The Lea Rig
7. Carnlough Bay
8. The Lobster Set
9. P Stands For Paddy
11. Red Mary