I first heard North Cregg on one of the "St. Patrick's" sampler CDs put out by the Magnetic Music label, and I remember thinking I would want to hear more of them. Christy Leahy (accordion) and Caoimhin Vallely (fiddle), with the help of guest Paul Meehan (banjo), play some very energetic dance music to accompaniments of piano, guitar, and percussions. The rock-n-rollish Cape-Breton- inspired piano and the addition of other instrumental textures suggests a comparison with the first Four Men and a Dog album. The surprise comes with the four songs, four by the band's singer and guitar player John Neville and one by Bill Staines, all of them in an idiom quite remote from that of the instrumental tracks. Not that the songs are bad or badly performed--Neville's "The Wobbling Man," a song about alcoholism and abuse, is quite affecting--but my ear has a hard time making the transition. Still these guys can make tunes move.

Rating: *** 1/2

Price: $17.99
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    Summer at my Feet
1. Jigs: McGoldrick's / Thunderhead
2. Polkas
3. Song: The Wobbling Man
4. Reels: Sean Ryan's / Reilly of the White Hill
5. Song: The Long Road
6. Reels: House of Hamill / The Highest Hill in Sligo / The Mullbrae
7. Song: You and Me
8. Polkas: Seamus Creagh's
9. Reels: The Boogie Reel / The Happy Reel / Knefsky Prospect
10. Song: Roseville Fair
11. Jigs: Johnny Leary's
12. Song: Pressganged Paddy