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Blackwater Irish Band - River


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  • Model: TN1805-40
  • Shipping Weight: 0.125kg
  • 10 Units in Stock

Blackwater - River

Blackwater Irish Band based in Sydney, is one of Sydney's premier Irish Bands. Formed in 1996 by PJ Cullen (Patrick Cullen) and have been playing continuously on the Irish Music scene. Blackwater Irish Band features PJ Cullen and Suzanne (Suzie) Toomey and are highly regarded in Irish Music circles in the Sydney region.


.1 Spanish Lady / 2 Caledonia / 3 Runaway / 4 Trasna na Dtonnta / 5 Molly Malone / 6 No Frontiers / 7 You Couldn't Have Come At A Better Time / 8 River / 9 Shores Of Botany Bay , The Ferryman , Irish Rover , I'll Tell Me Ma.

CD Review by Ian Dearden

Although the Sydneybased Blackwater Irish Band has been around since 1996, River,released in 2011, is their debut album.

Irish born guitarist/ singer P J Cullen has been a constant since the band’s inception, singer Suzanne Toomey (also Irish born, but now Australian resident) has been with the band since 2000.

Together, they have been stalwarts of the Sydney Irish music scene, and both have other musical interests as well as the Blackwater Band.

And so to the music.

The CD contains a balance of traditional and contemporary Irish songs and tunes, together with two songs that could be Irish, but aren’t – Dougie Maclean’s homesick love song for Scotland, Caledonia, and the CD title song, American songwriter Bill Staines’ River.

Both songs, I should say, are delivered with a fine Irish twist, and strike that deep and elemental celtic chord that exists in just about every Australian – we all share a little bit of irish heritage in us somewhere, I’m sure.

PJ Cullen comes from the robust end of the Irsh singing spectrum (think Wolfetones or The Fureys), whereas Suzanne Toomey has the exquisite edge of the younger Mary Black, one of Ireland’s finest!!

The traditional material includes Trasna Na Dtonnta, Molly Malone and a medley (probably a bit too long at 10 minutes) of Shores of botany Bay, Ferryman, Irish Rover and I’ll Tell Me Ma.

The contemporary material includes Runaway by The Corrs, No Frontiers by Jimmy McCarthy (in an arrangement that draws heavily on Mary Black’s rendition) and Luka Bloom’s delightful You Couldn’t Have Come At A Better Time.

PJ’s guitar skills are sturdy and reliable – Suzanne is not only an exquisite singer, but is a fi ne whistle player and no slouch on the accordion and the bodhran (although not I assume at the same time, except in the context of multi-track recording!)

There is excellent support on the CD from bass player Dave Mason Cox (who also engineered the album) and fi ddler Evelyn Finnerty.

This is a delightful and charming CD.

I was particularly taken by their reading of Molly Malone, an old chestnut of the Irish repertoire, except that PJ and Susan sing verses alternately in English and Gaelic, before winding up with a verse that sees the two languages sung together, and in harmony!

Great stuff!

You can find out more about the band, which expands from its duo format as required for live performances, at their website www. au.

This product was added to our catalog on Wednesday 21 September, 2011.