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World Music CD Reviews Celtic & Irish


By Marty Lipp
Published September 23, 2005

World Music Network

Today, Celtic music means more than Irish music. Other Celtic countries, as well as minority communities, have come to the attention of the larger world. This collection takes a wide-ranging look at the contemporary Celtic music scene and, not surprisingly, finds some great performers. The compilers, for the most part, chose artists who straddle the line between tradition and fusion: performers like Flook, Kila, Shooglenifty, who are rooted in the tradition, but push for a broader sound. Others, like Canada’s Natalie MacMaster, have spent their career hopping over the line, though she is represented here by one of her less-traditional tunes. There are a few sterling vocal performances, such as those from Niamh Parsons and the Poozies, while the pan-national Celtic Fiddle Festival contributes one of the fleet instrumental sets. As popular as it is, the New Age wing of Celtic music is not present; the music here is more rootsy and earthy. This generally lively collection does its job well and laudably brings together performers who are spread around the globe geographically, but close in sound and spirit. This is a great introduction that should open Celtic fans of all nationalities to music from not-so-foreign lands.