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Sean Leahy and Jeremy Spencer’s music has become a warm and familiar sound in West Kerry Ireland over the last few years. They have a strong connection to the music of the area, which is fantastically obvious to the listen on this, their debut album “The Side Over“. Sean’s rhythms and grooves are as natural to him as breathing, coupled with Jeremy’s strong traditional style and gorgeous melodic variations, it’s mix that makes perfect musical sense. On listening to Jeremy and Sean play together, their connection, both as friends and musicians sing out in every note they play. From West Kerry and beyond, their genuine love and deep appreciation of Irish music can be clearly heard. With Donogh Hennessy sharing his wealth of experience from engineering to arranging, they have created an album that represents them beautifully. Sean and Jeremy have an eye on the past while looking to the future, putting their own unique stamp on the tradition.
Kelcy Mae is a native of Shreveport, Louisiana, and lives in New Orleans. “Pennies in Hand” is her second album. One of Kelcy’s great strengths as an artist lies in her subtlety — beautifully-nuanced lyrics and arrangements which reflect that very notion of human emotions. She leaves simplistic odes to love or lust or heartbreak to other artists and instead dwells in the fascinating space of sudden realizations and complicated reactions. Such deft lyricism and sense of timing are on display from the word go, as the album opens with a stripped down bluesy version of her song “Your Two Faces” which melts into track 2, a gorgeous cover of “Moonshiners,” an old Irish standard performed over the years by the likes of Bob Dylan, Uncle Tupelo and Cat Power. The title track, “Pennies in Hand” is a moving rumination on the effects of time and change set to a deceptively-catchy hook and melody that sweeps the listener along. By the time the song ends with a return to the ukulele-led refrain, Kelcy Mae’s shining voice has achieved a beautiful paradox – strong enough to span mountains, yet at the same time delicate as a bird’s wing.