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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Irish Studio Traditional recording at its best, 11 Aug 2001
This review is from: Blackwater (Audio CD)
Blackwater is sublime, comfortable and powerful. Mark Kellys pulsating guitar, Ciaran Currans brittle bousouki lines, Maireads fiddle melodies and haunting vocals, Ciaran Tourishs fiddle weaving between the rythmn and melody like an man possessed with intracate music and little hope of release. Dermot Byrnes melodian/accordian playing Bunker Hill like a God!!!, helped brilliantly by Currans bouzouki. Notable and clearly audible appearances by Donal Lunny(vocals,keys,bodhran and bouzouki), The Ni Domhnaill sisters(piano and vocals), Dathai Spruille(guitar),Steve Cooney(bass,didge,vocals), Conan Doyle(vocals Trk 3), make this a great introdution to the power of Irish music.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Distilled beauty, 16 Sep 2012
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GlynLuke (York UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Blackwater (Audio CD)
After the tragic death of their flautist Frankie Kennedy in 1994, it was two years before the members of Altan - which include his widow, singer and fiddle player Mairead Ni Mhaonaigh - felt able to record another album. Listening to this lovely forty-minute collection of tunes and songs, I`m very glad they did.
There is, inevitably I suppose, a strain of melancholy running through Blackwater like a faint thread, but it only goes to highlight in the most winning way the inherent bittersweetness of much Irish music. You can certainly hear it in the final track here, A Tune For Frankie, composed by the singer and played with suitable gravitas by the group.
Her singing of the well-known, and oft-covered, Blackwaterside, is haunting. She has a beguiling, direct way of singing, and I`ve rarely heard this ominous song performed with such simple honesty.
This isn`t music which loudly calls attention to itself, but rather draws you in like the allure of a dark wood or the scent of water. It`s put together with loving care, as is the booklet, complete with lyrics and full listings. Despite any downbeat hints in these twelve tracks, this is ultimately uplifting, celebratory music - one feels they went into the studio as much to honour a life as to mourn. And to make wonderful music!
They most certainly succeeded.
Herein is contained, as my review title declares, distilled beauty.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Delightful relaxation, 29 Mar 2010
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Mr. M. Parker "Bluegrasser" (Farnborough, Hampshire) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Blackwater (Audio CD)
There are a variety of "moods" in the music on the album, but all the tracks are of high quality and for anyone who enjoys the music of the Celtic folf revival this makes excellent listening.
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Blackwater
Blackwater by Altan
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