The High Kings are one of the most successful Irish folk outfits over the last 10 years and this collection of their best songs over that period shows exactly why.

The voices are perfectly complimentary, creating an almost seamless harmony, the playing of their classic instruments is excellent and the selection of songs – some traditional Irish ballads and some more modern but all in keeping with the ballad style – keeps the rhythm and the flow of this set rolling comfortably.

They manage to avoid the stock, overly emotional, delivery of so many of their lesser compatriots – the ‘diddly diddly’ Irish folk bands – and instead play music of a rare high standard that hits the listener right in the heart.

The 18 tracks here cover a wide range of styles and it is impossible to really pick favourites but tracks such as Pete St John’s ‘The Rare Auld Times’ deliver such deep emotions while ‘The Rocky Road To Dublin’ encapsulates all the best of traditional music, heavy on rhythm and with wonderful harmonies and penny whistle.

There is a huge gap between the classic performers like The Clancy Brother or The Chieftains and The High Kings but they are keeping the traditions alive and developing the form and really making it fresh and alive again.

For any folk fans this is essential.

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