Copyright 2000 - ORP 601
Oxford Road Records
3501 Vallejo Street
Denver, CO 80211
This review is written by Kevin McCarthy, 7/00
"Kevin and Maxine’s Celtic & Folk Music CD Reviews"
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It takes talent and skill to make traditional material sound like one's own, and one's own material sound traditional. Such is just one of the trademarks of Colcannon, a five-member group out of Colorado. Able to match top tier Celtic groups note for note, this quintet provides a handful of instrumentals, a couple of tunes sung in gaelic and other songs of Celtic lore in its latest release.
Not solely beholden to tradition, Colcannon also offers cuts with an unusual, creative sound, "Roberto Corvus" being a fine example. This instrumental, featuring flute, fiddle and mandocello, begins with an earnest classical music sound and then transforms into a livelier but still weighty number, more Eastern European grounded.
Lead singer Mick Bolger's authentic vocals are at home with whatever he sings, in both gaelic or English. His take of "The Ploughboy Lads" matches anything done previously and his offerings of the "Last Letter Home" and "Flags" convey their emotional-laden themes. Bolger displays his vocal versatility by matching his baritone to the subtle and sorrowful famine-related tune "The Praties."
"County Carlow" a sweet instrumental, is a tribute by band member Brian Mullins to his namesake County Carlow town, St. Mullins, and its quirky history. Tributes, by nature, tend to be laden with either rousing fire or quiet fortitude--this one is on the subtle side. The rest of the instrumentals swing back and forth between delicate and rollicking, all performed cleanly and tightly.
You deserve to hear them. They deserve to be heard by you. Make it happen.
Colcannon consists of Mick Bolger on vocals, bodhran and cornet; Mike Fitzmaurice on bass, guitar and harmony vocals; Rod Garnett on flutes and fifes, Jean Harrison on fiddle, accordion and harmony vocals; and Brian Mullins on mandolin, mandocello, bouzouski, guitar, flute and tenor banjo.
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