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Eamonn Coyne and Kris Drever

Honk Took Suite – 2007 (Compass)

Reviewed by John Lupton

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CDs by Eamonn Coyne and Kris Drever

If their names don't suggest it strongly enough, the first three tracks on this collection from Éamonn Coyne and Kris Drever will remove any doubt that this is music much closer to Dublin and Edinburgh than to Nashville. While there is a banjo, it's the four-string Irish tenor variety that Coyne excels at, while guitarist and singer Kris is the son of noted Scottish singer and songwriter Ivan Drever, formerly of the Scots folk/rock band Wolfstone.

That said, the tunes here are not that different from the bedrock of what we call "country" music on this side of The Pond. The world over, much of the best music has come from two people sitting down together and seeing what emerges. Though quite apart in style, what Coyne and Drever are doing is as vibrant as what Tony Rice and Norman Blake used to do. The only minor quibble is that, as good a singer as Drever is, it would have been nice to have more than the three vocal tracks here.