Despite more lineup changes than I can count, Newfoundland's answer to the Irish Rovers continues to be consistently entertaining.
Still under the guiding hand of founder/singer/guitarist Con O'Brien (the only original member), the band went to Newfie counterparts Great Big Sea to create its latest project. Singer Alan Doyle produced Southern Shore and the entire band sings on the rollicking, fun "Downtown Girl". That song aside, Doyle doesn't really bring much new to the table, since he was working with a band well established in song and spirit.
There's the usual mix of Irish favourites (Mick Maguire, Town of Ballybay), some songs unique to the Newfoundland (Six Horse-Power Coaker) and a bit of a tribute to recently departed Irish folk music legend Tommy Makem. Town of Ballybay and Four Green Fields are both Makem creations; the latter is a certified classic and I must admit the Descendants don't really do it justice -- but how can anyone but Makem bring the right touch to an iconic, metaphorical composition about the fight for Irish freedom? So I give the band kudos for trying.
My only gripe? The album's 12 tracks total just under 40 minutes. With a CD capable of holding double that length, a few more songs wouldn't have hurt. But that's a trifling complaint. This is still worth adding to your collection.