I can't even say what this band has meant to me. There are so many songwriters out there that attempt a traditional style, even those steeped in it haven't managed songs as good as the best of Shane's. Every now and then some songwriters will write a song or two that sounds so universal, that they'll pass into tradition. Bogle has a couple. There are a dozen or so English songwriters that have managed it. McGowan has tons. I couldn't care less that they're not players on the level of Planxty or the Chieftains. What's referred to as traditional music started as social music, not an opportunity for virtuosity or creating an insular community. Irish music has been played by more skilled musicians, but they exude the raggedness, the wit and the enthusiasm that's worth a lot more.
Favorite Album - If I Should Fall from Grace with God (any of the first three, agreed, but this has the best combination of energy and poetic genius.
Favorite Song - Well-known- A Pair of Brown Eyes, less-known- Turkish Song of the Damned.
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