House concerts are a stable and long standing component of the music scene in the U. S, Canada, and elsewhere. Not so much in Ireland, but, on this evidence, what a crying shame.
Greenshine is a three piece family band , composed of Mary Greene and Noel Shine, both veterans of the acoustic Irish music scene, who have recently been joined by their daughter Ellie. Noel and Mary have been blurring the boundaries between folk, Americana, and bluegrass for years now , their interactions tuneful, inventive and compelling. No surprise, then, to note that Ellie fits in beautifully , bringing an even greater freshness to the dynamic that is family music. There is something elemental that emanates from the music when it springs from the most intimate of connections.
Kicking off with Mary's version of Dylan's "Don't Think Twice", sourced from her old friend Gerry Power of Dunmore East, what followed was a two and a half hour odyssey through tradition, original song , and a cheesy Dean Martin cover for good measure. ! It is difficult to describe just how good this music was , but I'll try. "Shadow and Sun", replete with gorgeous guitar work between the breaks, was a standout example of how beautiful understated female harmonies can be -and how effective. A song about missing people from the trio's new album, it deserves a cover version from a major artist.
Ellie stepped into the spotlight for the first -but not last - time of the evening with "Dream A Little Dream Of Me", showing a formidable vocal prowess, which , with greater exposure , will become even more obvious. Later , Noel , fingerpicking beautifully, gave a stomping version of "Working on The Railroad", he and Ellie swapping verses , and the band working heavenly three part harmony on the chorus.
I took copious notes as an aide memoire, but several days, and twenty eight songs later, I can remember almost every detail of the evening as if it were in the now. This was music, played to the most appreciative audience I've been a part of for some time, of the highest quality. During the interval, our hosts, Pat and Rita, went round with wine, beer, sweet cake and brown bread for all their guests. All told, an evening of pure magic, music that went straight to the heart, and not an amp or microphone in sight. I'll tell ye something-I could get used to this kind of evening handy enough!
Oliver P . Sweeney
There are only so many hours in a day and only so many gigs we can get to. We'd really like to expand our national coverage of the live scene as it remains the life blood of music.
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