A five-piece from Sligo and Limerick together for less than three years fusing free flowing wildly infectious traditional Irish music and lightly accented jazz-rock Moxie are Ted Kelly on tenor banjo, Jos Kelly, button accordion/keyboards, Darren Roche, button accordion, Cillian Doheny, tenor banjo/guitar, and Paddy Hazelton percussion. The foot-stomping title track best shows Moxie’s formidable potential: swinging at a moment’s notice from trad (no not the Acker Bilk variety) to hint at Béla Fleck-like jazz and world music flavours via the wooze and swirl of a dubby electronic wash to open out to travel far from the strictures of a much more hidebound approach.
Moxie’s strength is in running with a tune and taking it in interesting directions chiefly via unobtrusive button accordion or bluegrass banjo, highly mobile ensemble passages vaulting through modal patterns, the band layering intricate melodic runs over intoxicating chord changes on ‘Mullaghmore’ a reference to the county Sligo seaside village in its title. Banjo comes through really prettily, in the dream-like atmosphere of ‘Drakeman’ the rhythm section wading their way through little faltering movements and shy steps. ‘Leads’ digs deep into traditional music the reel gradually transformed organically. A blast of fresh air. SG