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"Four On The Floor" by Old Blind Dogs

by Catherine L. Tully

Artist: Old Blind Dogs
Album: "Four On The Floor"
Year produced: 2007

All I can say is I'm in love. It is obvious why this band won the "Folk Band of the Year" award for 2007 at the Scots Trad Music Awards. "Four On The Floor" is a masterpiece of sound that is an absolute joy to listen to. I loved it right from the first track, "Terror Time," which is so captivating that I'm drawn to it over and over.

There is something about this group that sets it far apart from its contemporaries. Something special and nameless that could be dubbed as a kind of charisma of a musical nature that I hear only occasionally. (If there is such a thing, the Old Blind Dogs really do have it!)

Although the music and expertise of the players is top-notch, it is really the sound of the vocals that makes this band connect so well. The purity of the sound in these voices is spectacular--and exceptional. Tracks like "Gaelic Song" really show that off well. The charisma rises to the surface like bubbles in a band like this, and you don't see it all the time, even though there are many wonderful musicians out there in the world today.

The pipes are fantastic, the ballad-like tracks are easy on the ears and the vocals are so pleasant it just makes one want to hit repeat and listen again and again....This is a band to fall in love with.


Buy the Album: "Four On The Floor"



Catherine L. Tully is a freelance writer and photographer who specializes in the arts. She has written for American Style and Classical Singer, among other magazines, and reviews music for Marc Gunn's Celtic MP3s Music Magazine. You can reach her through her website at www.catherineltully.com.



--posted by Catherine L. Tully, Sunday, December 30, 2007.
Find Celtic Free Music Downloads from the Brobdingnagian Bards.


"Athas" by Athas

by Catherine L. Tully

Artist: Athas
Album: "Athas"
Year produced: 2007

This traditional Irish music trio hails from Milwaukee Wisconsin and this album is truly music to dance by. The CD includes five tracks that are designed for set dancers--so that they can "dance along to the Borlin set."

The band offers up a mix of both traditional and original tunes here, and they are all wonderful! There is just enough of a modern feel to the music to keep it fresh and interesting, but fans of the "bread and butter Celtic sound" will not walk away disappointed.

Between the three you'll hear the fiddle, viola, guitar, djembe, bodhran, wooden flute and spoons as they skip, hop and slide through each track with ease. Band mates Heather Lewin-Tiarks and Amy Richter both have championship wins under their belt for their playing and it won't surprise listeners one bit when they hear the songs here. The third member, Jeff Ksiazek rounds the trio out nicely with his expert play on the guitar and flute. Each of the band members contributes to the sound and it really has a live, polished feel to it--like you are sitting in on one heck of a good session.

The band's name "Athas" means joy and gladness, and the musicians share those sentiments with the people who listen to this CD through their songs. The energy is contagious.


Buy the Album: "Athas"



Catherine L. Tully is a freelance writer and photographer who specializes in the arts. She has written for American Style and Classical Singer, among other magazines, and reviews music for Marc Gunn's Celtic MP3s Music Magazine. You can reach her through her website at www.catherineltully.com.



--posted by Catherine L. Tully, Sunday, December 30, 2007.
Find Celtic Free Music Downloads from the Brobdingnagian Bards.


"Upon A Winter's Eve" by The Black House Ceilidh

by Catherine L. Tully

Artist: The Black House Ceilidh
Album: "Upon A Winter's Eve"
Year produced: 2006

This debut album provides the listener with a variety of yuletide carols that have an "old time music" flavor to them, giving a nostalgic--and yet timeless feel to the entire CD. Instrumentation such as the viol de gamba, violin and the lute are on hand to lend a good tug to the heartstrings with the emotion they evoke on the holiday selections here.

Rather than relying on flashy arrangements, the selections by The Black House Ceilidh instead favors simple, earnest sounds; relying on the purity of the music rather than the complexity to give it style. This, in fact, can take as much skill as virtuoso play, as it must be clean, sincere and nearly perfect to have the effect of inspiring the listener. This band succeeds on all three counts, delivering a 19 track album that anyone would be delighted to have on their music lineup for the holidays--and beyond.

This is music to enjoy by the fire with a warm mug of something tasty in hand. There is a feeling of the "traditional" woven throughout this CD, so it makes a terrific selection for those looking to add to their collection a bit of the olde holiday spirit; delivered with expertise and simplicity for the enjoyment of the listener.


Buy the Album: "Upon A Winter's Eve"



Catherine L. Tully is a freelance writer and photographer who specializes in the arts. She has written for American Style and Classical Singer, among other magazines, and reviews music for Marc Gunn's Celtic MP3s Music Magazine. You can reach her through her website at www.catherineltully.com.



--posted by Catherine L. Tully, Sunday, December 30, 2007.
Find Celtic Free Music Downloads from the Brobdingnagian Bards.


"An Nollaig - An Irish Christmas" by Eileen Ivers

by Catherine L. Tully

Artist: Eileen Ivers
Album: "An Nollaig - An Irish Christmas"
Year produced: 2007

This is a lovely compilation of Christmas music--with some highly recognizable tunes, such as traditional favorites like "Hark The Herald Angels Sing," and other, more unusual holiday fare. Ivers is an Irish-American fiddle champion, and the ease with which she yields her instrument reflects her both her skill and comfort-level with her chosen method of artistic expression.

You can hear Ivers play and experiment with rhythms, which directly impacts the mood of every track she plays on here. Whether sprightly, as on some of the more upbeat tracks here, or haunting--like the last track, "O Holy Night," which is tremendous, Ivers infuses her music with feeling and energy. Especially interesting is the interpretation of "Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring" which is arranged in a very unusual way.

Not only nice for the holidays, this is a CD that can be enjoyed year-round as the music is so appealing. The Celtic overtones make it a fun compilation and the album will have appeal for a wide range of listeners because of the combination of familiar holiday classics and their interpretations. "Do You Hear What I Hear" is a particularly different take on a holiday favorite that is positively loaded with the influence of Irish music, as well as an almost Caribbean flavor. Very cool--and very different.


Buy the Album: "An Nollaig - An Irish Christmas"



Catherine L. Tully is a freelance writer and photographer who specializes in the arts. She has written for American Style and Classical Singer, among other magazines, and reviews music for Marc Gunn's Celtic MP3s Music Magazine. You can reach her through her website at www.catherineltully.com.



--posted by Catherine L. Tully, Friday, December 28, 2007.
Find Celtic Free Music Downloads from the Brobdingnagian Bards.


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