Singer-guitarist Paul Mckenna’s young band has been playing around the folk club and festival scene over the past three years, and this debut CD confirms their promise as well as showcasing their smart image. Mckenna sings traditional and original songs in a wistful, quavering voice, lending urgency to narrative adventures such as The Jolly Beggar and Carnlough Bay and tenderness … Read More


Bursting with enthusiasm and tight, driving rhythm, this young Scots band has been polishing its performance over the past few years, taking its Scots/Irish amalgam of contemporary roots music round the folk club and festival circuit. Guitar, bouzouki, cittern, flute, fiddle and heartbeat-steady bodhran provide deft instrumental textures and two sets of dance tunes. Mainly up-tempo, the pace relaxes in … Read More


You could be forgiven for thinking (on the basis of their album cover) that the Paul McKenna Band were the folk scene’s answer to ‘Westlife’. But then there’s only so many ways you can photograph five twenty-something guys against an urban backdrop I suppose. ‘Between Two Worlds’ is a fantastic debut album from a band who have been steadily working … Read More


Greentrax is the automatic mark of quality, as this label releases yet another stunner from a long list in recent years. This quintet is so trad, and so modern at the same time that the band reminds us of others who have fused so many different influences. The Paul McKenna Band is young, very hip, very talented. This group has … Read More


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 … Read More


I can’t work out why the Paul McKenna Band aren’t making more waves south of the border. It can’t be the quality of the vocal, Paul McKenna has a powerful and distinctive voice, It can’t be the musicianship, the band include award winning muscians in their number. It can’t be the choice of songs, “Between Two Worlds” contains a solid … Read More


I often get the complaint “there’s nothing new coming out of Scotland.” Well that’s just wrong, as any fan of the Greentrax Music label will tell you, and the next two CDs I want to tell you about will prove my point. Between Two Worlds by The Paul McKenna Band, is one of the most innovative sounds, contemporary and traditional … Read More


Ian Green, supremo of Greentrax, keeps getting deserved recognition from the industry for all his contributions to traditional music. One of his many talents is to know a damn fine band when he hears one, and then give them a recording contract. Which is just what he’s done again with these guys, who are the eponymous Paul McKenna, vocals, guitar; … Read More


After more than 15 years of reviewing folk CDs, there may be moments where I get somewhat weary of reviewing – until a CD comes along which is such a discovery making it all worthwhile. The Paul McKenna Band is one of such discoveries. Its debut album suggests that this is the most impressive new band I have heard for … Read More

**** Stem The Tide – News Shopper Review

NOT to be confused with the well known hypnotist of the same name, Scottish folkie Paul McKenna and his enthusiastic cohorts released their first album, Between Two Worlds, to widespread critical acclaim in 2009 and this splendid follow-up set seems likely to enjoy a similar fate. The contents offer a well judged blend of the archaic and contemporary, illuminated by … Read More