MOONSHEE – Moonshee (Park Records PRKCD114)

I suppose the mark of any good CD is when you can play it to your mates (even those not remotely interested in ‘folk’) whilst grooving like an ‘acoustic’ version of Bill & Ted in the car and you can play it loud (if you’re so inclined) without offending passers-by. OK, so the mix of Indian and British folk cultures has been attempted before (most recently by Michael McGoldrick) but to get the balance right commercially is like walking a tight-rope. Bearing in mind that fellow Park Records artists Steeleye Span have already proved that through hard work and determination there is plenty of scope to reach the ultimate goal of a commercial recording that has its sights set on capturing the Radio Nation and with a helping hand from the right people… Mike Harding, Aled Jones and Jools Holland etc this group could well succeed.

Utilising the tried and tested “Fair And Tender Maidens”, “The Water Is Wide” and “Concertina Reel” (here titled Cortina Reel Mk II for some reason) the group are no slouches musically speaking and by adding tuneful decoration including Benji Kirkpatrick, John Spiers and Rosie Doonan ‘Moonshee’ will have done themselves no harm in the ‘folk’ communities eyes. One slight criticism is that although all the vocalists are credited, it doesn’t state who the lead singer is on each track. In conclusion, I for one am keeping my fingers crossed that the band does really well commercially and perhaps, with John Dagnell and everyone at Park on board Moonshee have more than a fighting chance. Great debut!


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