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The Red Crow

5 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Product details

  • Audio CD (1 Mar. 2000)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Green Linnet
  • ASIN: B000005CO5
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Audio Cassette  |  Vinyl  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 165,750 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
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Format: Audio CD
This 1990 release nicely mixes reels, jigs, and songs from the Celtic group whose career was about to peak with 1992's Harvest Storm and 1993's Island Angel. The Red Crow resembles other Altan albums in energy and traditional music selections but stands out for its variety of guest accompanists, which includes pianist S´amus Quinn, mandolin player Niall Toner, and keyboardist M´ire Breathnach. In fact, "Mallaí Chroich Shlí" is one of those rare--perhaps only--cuts where ambient synthesizer appears on an Altan song--and tastefully at that. Other highlights include the lovely "Tommy Bhetty's Waltz" and "Inis Dhún Rámha," dominated by a bouncing acoustic guitar. Overall, there's a great variety of hardcore Altan fun here with a bit of New Age softness and folkie flavor thrown in.

Altan has been promoting the traditional music of Donegal for well over a decade now. The Donegal style of Irish fiddle music is known for its high energy, its aggressive bowing, its relation to Scottish music, and for types of tunes such as "Highlands," "Lancers," and "Germans," which are not found in the counties to the South, and it is Donegal's fiddle music that predominates Altan's recordings. The melodic heart of this album is the twin fiddling of Mairead Ni Mhaonaigh and Paul O'Shaughnessy, and the flute playing of Mairead's late husband, Frankie Kennedy. Ciaran Curran's bouzouki and Mark Kelly's guitar accompaniment, plus the accompaniment of various guests, are both driving and subtle.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: HASH(0x94647e40) out of 5 stars 6 reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x94dcb3b4) out of 5 stars A great CD from one of Ireland's greatest bands 20 Dec. 2000
By Peter Kasin - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
Altan has been promoting the traditional music of Donegal for well over a decade now. The Donegal style of Irish fiddle music is known for its high energy, its aggressive bowing, its relation to Scottish music, and for types of tunes such as "Highlands," "Lancers," and "Germans," which are not found in the counties to the South, and it is Donegal's fiddle music that predominates Altan's recordings. The melodic heart of this album is the twin fiddling of Mairead Ni Mhaonaigh and Paul O'Shaughnessy, and the flute playing of Mairead's late husband, Frankie Kennedy. Ciaran Curran's bouzouki and Mark Kelly's guitar accompaniment, plus the accompaniment of various guests, are both driving and subtle. The musical sympathy between the musicians is evident in the way that Mhaonaigh's and O'Shaughnessy's different approaches to bowing blend in with and complement each other's, and how tight and polished, yet vibrant and alive this album is. This musical sympathy is not all that surprising, given that Altan's musicians have been playing together at pub sessions and festivals for many years prior to their decision to form a touring band. The Red Crow contains both tunes that are standards of the Donegal fiddler's repertoire, and Donegal settings of tunes known throughout Ireland. There are also some newly composed tunes, including the now widely popular Brenda Stubbert's reel, composed by Cape Breton fiddler Jerry Holland. Mairead Ni Mhaonaigh's beautiful, soulful voice is heard on several songs sung in Irish, and one in English. The Red Crow is at once exciting, polished, and well-balanced between types of tunes and songs. I agree with the reviewer who said this is Altan's finest recording to date. Its energy and selection of tunes is, I feel, unmatched by their other recordings. You may have your own favorite of Altan's. Certainly whichever of their albums you choose, you can't go wrong. Altan has many imitators, but there's nothing quite like the original.
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x947f4c60) out of 5 stars Excellent CD that displays a range of emotions. 30 Dec. 1998
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
This is one of the first Celtic CD's I ever purchased and although I now own all of Altan's CD's this one remains among my favorites. From the high energy reels like Yellow Tinker, Brenda Stubbert's and The Emmyvale through the more mellow jigs, slip jigs, and Tommy Bhetty's Waltz to the traditional songs sung by Mairead Ni Mhaonaigh, this CD will have you going from dancing to near tears and back again in less than an hours time. The fiddle of Ni Mhaonaigh and flute of her late husband Frankie Kennedy entwine as one instrument. The backing fiddle, guitar and bouzouki work of Paul O'Shaughnessy, Mark Kelly, and Ciaran Curran, respectively, provide just the right bottom for each tune. I think Altan ranks right up there with the Bothy Band when it come to classic Irish groups and this CD really shows their talents!
HASH(0x956a97a4) out of 5 stars Features two of Altan's best instrumental tracks 14 Jun. 2009
By Christopher Culver - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
Among the early Green Linnet recordings by the Irish traditional group Altan, THE RED CROW is the one I've been listening to most often for the past year or so. The main reason for that are two fantastic collections of reels, "Bernda Stubbert's/Breen's/The Red Box" and "Jimmy Lyon's/The Teelin/The Red Crow/The Broken Bridge". "The Wedding Jig/Hiudai Gallagher's March/James Bryne's/Mickey Doherty's" and "Tommy Bhetty's Waltz" are also memorable for their drum parts.

The downside of the album, as with most of Altan's recordings, are the traditional songs sung by Mairéad Ní Mhaonaigh. These are too often slow-tempoed and cutesy, and they seem a let-down after the power of the instrumentals. Other than that, my only real complaint is that the opening track has a fade-in effect. All in all, however, the instrumentals here are expertly played. HARVEST STORM and ISLAND ANGEL are more flashy and might make better introductions to the range of Altan's work, but THE RED CROW has some of their finest moments.
HASH(0x93f076b4) out of 5 stars Some of the very best of Donegal style fiddle=ing and sean nois singing. 22 Nov. 2013
By monikerlewinsky - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Vintage Altan. You cannot go wrong with Altan's early albums, which combine energetic fiddle music with thoughtful sean nois singing of the old songs from mostly the Donegal area. The Fiddling is definitely in the Donegal style, which is quite different than the other fiddle styles of Ireland. It's energetic, fast, almost robotic except for the human energy which infuses it. Altan has brought the Donegal style of music to the forefront and made it attainable to Irish musicians and fans everywhere. -by Stacey O'Brien
HASH(0x93f90dbc) out of 5 stars Great Irish CD 18 April 2012
By Patricia A. Brey - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I had this CD a long time ago and couldn't find it. I love the music especially the jigs and reels.
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