The two worlds in question on Between Two Worlds by the Paul McKenna Band may be the traditional and contemporary songs and tunes of music and protest.

The CD opens with Ewan MacColl’s “Ballad of Accounting,” which retains its feeling while undergoing a bit of modernisation in the arrangement. Interestingly, the next track — “Dancing in the Dark,” which was written by McKenna — sounds a little older and more relaxed.

The title track retains the feeling of relaxed performance allied to thoughtful lyrics. The band adds the tune “Musical Priest” to the track to great effect. They leap back to the traditional with “The Jolly Beggar,” but again their arrangement makes it a completely new song that works very well. A similar approach transforms “Carnlough Bay” into a modern song. “Red Mary” also receives the Paul McKenna Band makeover and again it works very well.

Nicky Rossiter

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