This review is written by Kevin McCarthy, 11/00
"Kevin and Maxine’s Celtic & Folk Music CD Reviews"
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Whoever said ignorance is bliss was unfamiliar with the Great Big Sea--for discovery is a real joy in life. This fact was underlined yet again while hearing this foursome from Canada for the first time. Featuring an extremely energetic and frolicking blend of music criss-crossing celtic, folk and pop genres, this group also provides the most danceable acoustic music, including some traditional tunes, heard in many a moon. It's almost impossible to remain seated, even at home.
This is a live release, with cuts gleaned from a 1999 cross country tour. The band generates audience reactions and this album captures those reactions. The crowd sings along during various tunes and, applause and cheers, though limited in length, occur at the beginning, middle and end of a number of the tunes.
Although about a third of the songs could be deemed slower paced, even that description is relative. Plug in the Great Big Sea and they could solve the next world energy crisis by themselves. A prime example, "Mari Mac," has the fastest rhythm for an intelligible song heard in a long time--it's pace is wearing on the listener.
Don't look for overpowering angst, personal confessions or great insights into the human condition here. Mind you, while it's not fluff the band is presenting, this group has a party band effect--everyone has a good time. You will too. Is there a good road rage? In this case, yes.
Gret Big Sea consists of Alan Doyle on vocals, guitar and bouzouki; Bob Hallett on fiddle, bouzouki, whistles, Irish flute and accordion; Sean McCann on vocals, guitar, bodhran and tin whistle; and Darrell Power of vocals, drums and bones.
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