Friday, February 05, 2016

'Areas of High Traffic' by Damien O'Kane

5 February 2016

I've been enjoying 'Areas of High Traffic' – the new album from Irish folk singer, banjo player and guitarist Damien O'Kane. This is a collection of mostly traditional Irish songs in contemporary arrangements which sound more like gentle rock music than folk. This approach to reworking traditional folk songs has a lot in common with O'Kane's English contemporary, Jim Moray (reviewed here in August 2008 and July 2011), though based more around a band of musicians than the electronica often used by Moray. Damien O'Kane, who comes from Coleraine, has a gentle singing voice and has created some beautiful arrangements – delicate easy listening with a hint of melancholy. And if you listen carefully you can pick out the distinctive voice of Damien O'Kane's wife Kate Rusby (reviewed here in June 2006) on backing vocals.

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