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World Music CD Reviews Celtic & Irish

ROSHEEN

By James Rodgers
Published September 23, 2005

Musique Celtique
Compass

It seems a strange marriage for a group of seven classically trained musicians with jazz backgrounds and French-Canadian heritage to form a traditional Celtic group. As if to prove themselves and win over the listener, they perform very straight-forward versions of traditional tunes for seven of the 12 pieces on their debut. While impeccably played, does the world need more reverential covers of “Star Of The County Down” and “Black Is The Color”?  Where Rosheen truly proves their abilities is on the five original tunes, blending Celtic, jazz, bluegrass and chamber music into something new and unique, and their own.  “Taming The Steed” tears out of the gate and brings the listener along for the ride, while “Roisin Dubh” takes a genial twist on Celtic music, even using a male choral “rap” at the end. Unfortunately, the entire disc sounds like it was recorded in a very large room and the hollow echo that haunts each track is distracting. With a focus in the future on more originals, or new takes on traditional tunes, Rosheen won’t have to worry about proving anything.