‘Taproom’ from Screaming Orphans - utterly listenable and decidedly different(August 28, 2017)
Screaming Orphans are four sisters that write and play music together. Natives of County Donegal, Ireland, their music reflects the heritage of the Gaeltacht or Irish-speaking areas of the island. Tradition is in evidence, so is innovation and inventiveness ... by the bucket load. Now I have to confess ‘Taproom’ is the first of the sisters’ albums I’ve heard, which is frankly unbelievable because what you hear is utterly listenable and decidedly different ... in summary, bloody good!
Screaming Orphans take their inspiration from an eclectic range of influences, according to them: “... from Simon and Garfunkel to The Bangles and The McNulty Family, with a strong focus on melody-driven songs with pop and rocks strains.” Having listened to ‘Taproom’ I’m inclined to agree with that description coupled to an ever-present influence of tradition, deep-seated narrative appreciation combined with some seriously tempting harmonies and alluring instrumentation. The result is folk with a certain portion of rock and a soupcon of pop permeating through every song ... from ‘Ireland’s Hour Of Need’ through ‘Follow Me Up To Carlow’ to ‘Paddy’s Lamentation’ and ‘The Humour Is On Me Now’. There’s a couple of cultural jumps with the ‘harmonies-to-die-for’ in ‘Oh Shenandoah’ and their divine take on Pete Seeger’s ‘The Ballad Of Springhill’ ... but there’s no worries there, they fit right into the mix.
‘Taproom’ comes to you from Angela Diver (bass, fiddle, vocals) Gráinne Diver (acoustic guitar, piano, vocals) Joan Diver (drums, bodhran, percussion, vocals) and Marie Thérèse Diver (accordion, piano, keyboards, vocals) with on selected tracks, Scooter Muse (banjo) Eric Rigler (uileann pipes, low whistle) Nick Watson (snare, doumbek, vocals) and Trvor tanner (acostic and electric guitars, vocals).
Review: Tim Carroll