Passing Through

Rig The Jig

Toucan Cove, 2004

REVIEW BY: Duke Egbert

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED: 09/30/2004

It finally had to happen. After all the American bands over the last ten years who tried to play Irish music with varying levels of success, an Irish band has decided to play American traditional music. (And some Irish too, don't get me wrong.) Rig The Jig is the band in question, and I'm happy to report that they do a bang-up job no matter which side of the Atlantic they're playing. Their latest CD, nbtc__dv_250 Passing Through, is a delightful romp through the best of barroom folk in both countries.

Basically an acoustic outfit, Rig The Jig's sound is stripped down, straightforward, and easy to listen to. There's nothing terribly fancy here, but what there is is done to a turn. The musicianship is outstanding on Passing Through; whether it be banjo, uilleann pipe, or barrelhouse piano, the sound is clear and true.

What really makes Rig The Jig something special is the song choice. The album starts out with a straightforward jig -- and just when you think you know what you have in your CD player, they're suddenly taking a whack at Rory Gallagher's "Barley And Grape Rag" or Leonard Cohen's "Passing Through." You don't hear a lot of Irish bands who can handle the bounce from "Raglan Road" to Johnny Cash's "I Still Miss Someone." Their version of "City Of New Orleans" is sweet, perhaps the sweetest version I've heard since Arlo Guthrie's original.

Rig The Jig is, in the long run, one of the most enjoyable Irish bands I've heard in a long time. Far from a novelty act, they've proved on Passing Through that they can handle multiple musical worlds with equal grace, and that's really something special.

Rating: B+

User Rating: Not Yet Rated


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© 2004 Duke Egbert and The Daily Vault. All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of Toucan Cove, and is used for informational purposes only.