The High Kings: Friends for Life

Album Artwork

1. Oh Maggie
2. Gucci
3. All Around the World
4. Johnny Leave Her
5. Health to the Company
6. Galway Girl
7. Peggy Gordon
8. High
9. Ireland’s Shore
10. Come with Me Now
11. McAlpines Fusiliers
12. Friends for Life

Too precious to be pop yet  modern to be inaccessible -those are the things I found when I listen to the new album of the High Kings called Friends for Life. I think that after years of being on the road and filling arenas, the quartet of Darren Holden, Finbarr Clancy, Brian Dunphy and Martin Furey can confess that they are going to be in music for life. They are friends and fantastic artists as they weave their talents for listeners to enjoy. Released by Sony Classical, I expect nothing less from this album in terms of production. And yes I am completely satisfied and proud to recommend it to everyone.

Oh Maggie is the first track and it introduces what the whole atmosphere of the album sounds like. Jacketed by a nice banjo sound, it proves that Ireland’s pub culture can sound so good in the cities of the world. After all, it was music that saved civilization and thus the spirit will continue to flourish through time. It shall be savored by generations to come. Gucci is a potential single with its emphasis on power chords and aggressive rhythm on top of the fantastic vocal abilities. We hear guitars, fiddles, accordions and other traditional instruments along with moderns ones in Friends for Life. Jonny Leave Her so irresistible it will make you sing along.

I think this is recorded with live performance in mind as everything here sounds upfront and lively. Darren Holden, Finbarr Clancy, Brian Dunphy and Martin Furey have outdone themselves with this wonderful recording. I love the remake of Galway Girl and  Peggy Gordon. Friends for Life continues the magic of Memory Lane but it has a more modern appeal. I think there are tracks that can sound fitting in alternative rock radio stations. The folk roots are still there but I think they are moving forward with this album. They get better and better with every studio session.

As always my big thanks to Anita Daly for pointing me to this new release!


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