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Regarded by most as one of America’s most exciting Irish groups, the immensely talented all-woman ensemble Cherish The Ladies are even more dazzling on Out and About. Producer Johnny Cunningham has coaxed the absolute best out of the group, who instrumentally have never sounded better or tighter and whose songs, led by Cathie Ryan’s gorgeous voice, are searingly memorable. "The Cameronian Set" --a masterful arrangement of the Gaelic song "The M’Intinn Raoir," that brilliantly bookends the strathspey "Duke of Gordon" and two reels, "The Cameronian" and "The Lady of the House--" is a tour de force of extraordinary power. And the group’s rendition of "Inisheer" spotlights Joanie Madden on tin whistle and flute in a heartstopping performance. Jigs, waltzes, polkas, a slide, a pair of Cape Breton reels (featuring the hard-shoe stepdancing of Eileen Golden and Winnie Horan), and still more reels round out the tunes, all played with astonishing skill and feeling. The three remaining songs -- two about American heartland experiences, "Spoon River" and Cathie Ryan’s own "The Missing Piece," and one drawn directly from the Irish tradition, "Roisin Dubh," are simply superb. They all add up to an album that proves Cherish The Ladies are not only "out and about," but also "above and beyond" when it comes to the best that Irish music, song, and dance can offer.
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