Kiss The Shore
Raggle Taggle Gypsies / Sligo Maid
Rosebud in June
We Drank Mimosas / The Cobbler's Hornpipe
Keys of Canterbury
Star of the County Down
Si Bheag Si Mhor
The Whaler / The Wren Hornpipe
Walking Wounded / Morrison's
Maids of Michelstown / The Old Bush / Rip the Calico
Never Ending Road
Listen to some of our music here.
'Their principal musical territory is probably best described as traditional anglo-Celtic, much in the manner of classic Planxty. Through their expert arranging skills they're able to capitalise on a seemingly boundless supply of energy and provide a commendably full sound from their chosen instruments. Mike Nacey's bouzouki provides a solid foundation at all times, over which the fiddle and pipes fairly soar with strength and confidence aplenty.
They make extremely good fist of a number of folk standards with muscular, vital and fresh performances that are far from routine and really do enable us to hear their messages anew. Vocal duties are taken by fiddler Caroline Riches and piper Ned Lawton, who are both strong and forthright singers. Caroline's voice has a pleasing edge that complements its smooth, assured phrasing. At the same time there's something extra-urgent about Ned's vocal delivery that adds to its attractiveness.
The quality of sheer presence that's abundantly clear throughout the album in all its contributions is nothing but an enormous advantage, and can be taken as an unfailing recommendation for the CD as a whole.'
David Kidman, FATEA.
'I have heard Ragged Staff a few times live, and am pleased to report they sound exactly the same on “Kiss the Shore”. This is important, because too many acoustic musicians take liberties with their own sound. Apart from some very discreet reverb and occasional added instrument, this collection is au naturel. Ragged Staff have no need of artificial aids; they are all consummate musicians in their own right. For instance, their version of “Si Bheag Si Mhor” is the best I have heard in a long time and the subtlety of “Rosebud in June”, is a joy. An unfamiliar version of “The Nightingale” has some wonderful instrumental interludes on fiddle and pipes and their closing “Never Ending Road” is simply beautiful.'
Unicorn Folk Magazine.
'This is a mix of ‘trad arr’ and contemporary compositions, each one given the Ragged Staff treatment that comprises the iridescent fiddle and emotive vocals of Caroline Riches, the adrenaline-charged uilleann pipes of Ned Lawton and the spine-tingling bouzouki and mandola of Mike Nacey. ‘Kiss The Shore’ is evidence enough that Ragged Staff have quaffed long and deep at the cask to deliver another gem into the tradition. From the opening ‘Blacksmith’ with its finely placed pipes, through the sparkle of ‘We Drank Mimosa/ The Cobbler’s Hornpipe’ and the limitless exuberance of their take on ‘Keys of Canterbury’ to their gently melodic and languid offering of Turlough O’Carolan’s ‘Si Bheag Si Mhor’, and the sombre ‘The Whaler/ The Wren Hornpipe’ complete with wave effects - this is an album charged with music that cannot fail to engage.'
Tim Carroll, FolkWords.