|New and Hot - from The Atlanta Celtic Quarterly, February 1998
|The Irish Volunteer: Songs of the Irish Union Soldier 1861-1865
These dozen selections (ten recorded here for the first time)
are the songs of 160,000 Irishmen leaving their homes and their loves to
fight for their adopted country. Whether heroic, bitter, proud, or sad,
David Kincaid sings with a rough soldier's voice that lets you close your
eyes to imagine soldiers around the campfire, the night before a battle-or
perhaps the remnants, the night after. Kincaid's guitar and light
accompaniment by such as John Whelan (accordion), Liz Knowles (fiddle), and
Jerry O'Sullivan (pipes) add to the authentic feel. Words for all songs are
included in the excellent notes. Highly recommended for anyone with an
interest in Irish-American history or song-and everyone else, too. (Rykodisc
Track list and order information.
|Gorcuon Canu Gwerin Newyoo-The Best of New Welsh Folk Music
2146). 75 minutes of new Welsh folk music may sound a bit daunting but
this exciting collection shows the breadth of the traditional/contemporary
scene music in Wales. If you enjoyed Carreg Lafar when they appeared in
Atlanta last year, by all means look for this album-it will introduce you to
15 acts that are every bit as interesting and exciting as Carreg Lafar (who
appears in one cut). Travel agents should sell this CD-it makes listeners
want to book a trip to a Welsh folk festival at the first opportunity.
Order info: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Order info, track list, and sound bytes
|Fiddling of a more romantic nature appears on Maire Breatnach's
The album title comes from the inspiration for these original tunes:
6 couples, lovers, from Irish mythology. Don't worry about that, though. (I
myself take such introductions as warnings rather than praise.) The music
here is definitely in the traditional Irish dance forms, plus airs, and
absolutely lovely. I haven't heard an album of all-original tunes of such
strength and beauty in some time; there are some great polkas as well as a
slip jig that I can't get out of my head. The sound of the album is very
much like Alasdair's Fraser's Dawn Dance and The Road North: the
accompaniment is modern; the music rhythmic and lively in the dances,
evocative and rocking like a cradle in slower pieces. The sound of the
fiddle is rich and broad; she has a long-sounding bow, much like Fraser, and
her fiddling to my ear sounds a bit Scottish and very beautiful. It is a
real winner in my book.
Soldiers and Dreams
(Ark Albums), Cherish the Ladies' Aoife Clancy
takes flight through 10 songs ranging from traditional ("Rambling Boys of
Pleasure", "Fighting for Strangers") to modern (Eddie Dillon's "Love to Do
Over" and Adrian Mannering's "Lovers"). Her voice is so gentle and
powerful; she can start a note as quietly as a bird falling from a perch,
then take it into soaring flight. The arrangements by Clancy and Gabriel
Donohue are modern and interesting but not intrusive. This is club music,
almost cabaret music, and it is a fine, fine album.
Aoife Clancy can also be
heard on Cherish the Ladies - Live! (Big Mammy Records), the first album
to capture the special excitement of Cherish the Ladies in concert.
Beautifully recorded, and featuring many of the songs and tunes we heard
them perform at the 1997 Atlanta Celtic Festival, this is a "must have"
album for CTL fans.
Bio and track list
Order info: email@example.com
|Award-winning 17-year-old Highland piper Chris Armstrong's original compositions are
featured on his
notes in ma heid
(Lochshore CDLDL 1271), an album that
reflects my favorite type of neo-traditionalism: thoroughly traditional,
exquisite, exciting melody lines accompanied by a modern rhythm section. His
is the only Highland pipe playing I've heard that is as uncompromisingly
traditional (to my ears, at least) in its melodies as it is fearless and
daring in its accompaniments. But don't take me wrong--these accompaniments
(a lot of which are percussion and keyboard oriented) are usually light,
often subtle, and they thoroughly enhance the music.
is one of the more interesting fusion albums
I've encountered. A quote from the liner notes describes it well: "This
unique blend is a product of combining Latin American percussion, jazz
chords and rhythms, and the traditional tunes of Ireland, Scotland and Cape
Breton." A Cape Breton quartet that includes two members of the Barra
MacNeill family, these guys play traditional music with a twist-although one
strathspey and reel set is so traditionally played that it almost sounds out
of place-but they never let the foreign elements overwhelm the traditional,
and they've produced one of the most musical cross-over albums I've heard.
The only minus on the CD is yet another nice but slightly weird (and
generally worthless) version of O'Carolan's "Sí Bheag, Sí Mhór". Find this
album if you like swinging Celtic music and don't worry about the one dud.
Track list, artist info and sound bytes
Order info: veesik.records
|Much more traditional is
collection of performances by eight of the best young fiddlers and
fiddle-based bands in the Shetlands. Ranging from the familiar ("The Day
Dawn" and "Christmas Day in the Morning") to tunes newly composed in the
Shetland tradition, the album includes Scottish, Irish, American and even
Quebecois tunes. As well as being a great survey of Shetland music today,
this is a superb album for fiddle lovers, with cuts ranging from spare
old-sounding solo fiddling to thick harmonies and driving bands. (And no
O'Carolan!). (Veesik Records VCKD001 -- Veesik Records, Havelock Cottage, Back Charlotte Lane, Lerwick, Shetland, ZE1 0JD, U.K.)
Site design by David Marcus © 1998