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World Music CD Reviews Celtic & Irish

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The Mccalmans
Where The Sky Meets The Sea
Greentrax

By James Rodgers

Published February 17, 2006

The McCalmans and their new CD Where the Sky Meets the Sea recall a much simpler time in the world and in music. This is traditional in the doe-eyed, dewy grass, clean and sunlit side of traditional. They’re the Clancy Brothers without the whiskey, drink and women fixations. They’re the Brothers Four if they’d been born in Scotland. There is nothing to offend here. The fast tunes are upbeat and positive and the ballads are reflective and lush. The McCalmans started singing in 1964 and have recorded 23 albums, with this being their tenth for Greentrax and first with new singer Stephen Quigg. This is only the second lineup change for this trio in 38 years with Quigg replacing Derek Moffat, who passed away last year. The vocal harmonies are the highlight, blending together nonchalantly but with jaunty confidence. The acappella cover of Richard Thompson’s “Galway To Graceland” and the high-stepping “Women O’Dundee” allow the band to have some fun. In today’s complex time and music, this can sound light and twee, which is a shame and our loss.

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