What a joy to discover such vibrant and exciting new music. This Belfast based band is five musicians with multi-talented skills across a variety of acoustic instruments. Initially comprised of Joanne Cassidy (vocals, guitar, tin whistle, flute, banjo, harp) Noeleen Cosgrove (vocals, guitar, fiddle, banjo) and Sean Quinn (vocals, bouzouki, mandolin, banjo) the Dandy Horses took the decision to expand in late 2013.
With the addition of Rodney McKinney on double bass and Marty Malone on drums and percussion, their melodic, acoustic sound was given greater colour and the song arrangements on this five track EP benefit greatly. Comparisons to bands such as The Dixie Chicks and The Corrs are inevitable with the strong vocals of Noeleen Cosgrove standing out on four of the songs.
The final song, My Heart Goes Boom, sung by Sean Quinn is a merry, up-tempo workout and Driving Towards Blue Skies is a fine track with a positive uplifting message to look forward with optimism. Fighting Fires is a gentle song that cautions against living with fear and frustration and reflects that "you can’t fight every little fire". The production is very strong with fiddle, flute, harp and whistle being mixed into an appealing blend of Irish folk and American country influences. Highly recommended.