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World Music CD Reviews Celtic & Irish

Iona

By Dan Maxwell
Published March 30, 2007

A Celebration Of Twenty
Barnaby Productions

Bringing with them the heavy spirit of Celtic tradition, Iona lives up to its much-celebrated name on its 20th anniversary with a two-disc set that reflects the multitude of sounds studied by the quartet over the years. While the second disc features a highlight-reel reissue of 15 re-mastered tunes from the last five albums, the first disc builds on the group’s roots with 11 new tracks that look toward a still-bright future. The deep and mature sounds heard throughout highlight the group’s ability to work in a variety of tempos, instruments and languages (far too many to list), with surprising consistency. They all offer up a rich blend of old and new—not just linking present work with previous albums, but with centuries of tradition that Iona creates a comfortable place for in 2006. With a total of 113 minutes of this blending, you’ll have plenty of opportunity to rest after “The Hills of Connemara.”