The Indulgers,
Celtic Tiger
(Celtic Club, 2002)

With two albums under their belt, the Indulgers had developed a reputation for an addictive blend of Celtic roots and modern rock, the upbeat melodies of their original songs often concealing a dark underbelly. But Celtic Tiger is an animal of a different color; this album features traditional songs mixed with a few surprises that will likely startle a few listeners who haven't peeked ahead on the song list.

But Indulgers fans won't be disappointed -- the band hasn't traded its distinctive style for a traditional lineup.

The band is Damien McCarron on vocals and guitar, Mike Nile on vocals, guitar, mandolin, accordion, whistles and buzzpipe, Renee Fine on violin, Pat Murphy Jr. on drums and Chris Murtaugh on bass guitar. Neale Heywood guests on guitar, keyboards and vocals.

Celtic Tiger includes traditional songs including "Mari Mac," "Wild Mountain Thyme," "Whiskey in the Jar" and "Loch Lomond," as well as modern standards such as "Go, Move Shift," "Fisherman's Blues," "Back Home in Derry" and "Dirty Old Town." There are also some unusual selections: "Born to be Wild," "You are My Sunshine," "Tupelo Honey" and, yes, "Freebird."

The mix of tunes works because the Indulgers have stamped each song, old and new, with their trademark sound. The end result falls somewhere in the middle; traditional elements are stripped away to give the rock influences dominance, while rock songs have Celtic touches injected into the package for a new twist.

This is a balance that works very well for the Indulgers, and I hope very much to hear more in this vein from them in the future.

[ by Tom Knapp ]
Rambles: 28 September 2002

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