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Eamonn Coyne and Kris Drever

Honk Toot Suite

(Compass; US: 30 Jan 2007)

Eamonn Coyne and Kris Drever aren’t knee-deep in either Celtic music or bluegrass, but instead weave a nice and nifty combination of the two for some fine picking on the tender and gentle toe-tapper “House Jigs” and the equally charming “The Peninsula Set”. This is only heightened with the slower and melodic “Lucy’s Swamp”, which mixes the best of Appalachian mountain music and Irish countryside before it picks up steam halfway through. Perhaps the first real highlight is the jaunty and at times jazzy “Lakeside Barndances”, which quickly breezes by. The tone of the album is very laidback and soothing despite the fact some of the songs shift into a slightly higher gear near the homestretch. This is especially true of “Glencoe to Gort”. Another keeper is the silly but strong “Cock-A-Doodle” that has the performers playing as if they were off their noodle as they sing in the song.

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Originally from Cape Breton, MacNeil is currently writing for the Toronto Sun as well as other publications, including All Music Guide, Billboard.com, NME.com, Country Standard Time, Skope Magazine, Chart Magazine, Glide, Ft. Myers Magazine and Celtic Heritage. A graduate of the University of King's College, MacNeil currently resides in Toronto. He has interviewed hundreds of acts ranging from Metallica and AC/DC to Daniel Lanois and Smokey Robinson. MacNeil (modestly referred to as King J to friends), a diehard Philadelphia Flyers fan, has seen the Rolling Stones in a club setting, thereby knowing he will rest in peace at some point down the road. Oh, and he writes for PopMatters.com.


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