Wild & Wicked Youth
(self-produced, 2007)

With all the bands offering Celtic music today, it takes a good one to stand out from the crowd.

With release of its third album, Tullamore, a Kansas City, Mo., trio, steps to the forefront and is sure to be noticed. Celtic music loyalists should have no complaint with Tullamore's interpretation of the eight traditional selections on this album. And the other four offerings are a compatible fit.

The trio offers strong vocals, inspired instrumentals and -- if that isn't enough -- plenty of good old-fashioned energy.

There aren't any bad selections here. But, to name a few I particularly like, I'd have to put "Sonny's Dream," which gives good play to Mary Hanover's sweet voice, and the fiddle intro to "The Ballad of Jack Dolan," exhibiting Rachel Gaither's skill, near the top. Mark Clavey does an excellent job throughout and I'd be remiss to ignore his talent. A standout example is "The Butcher's Set," an original tune he composed. There's nothing wrong with the title piece, either.

Clavey grew up in a musical family and has been playing guitar since his teens. He brings more than two decades of experience with Celtic music to the group. Hanover, who has worked in both classical and traditional venues since her teens, offers a beautiful alto voice, in addition to her skill with the hammered dulcimer and tin whistle. Gaither is a singer, songwriter, violinist and teacher. She has been playing the violin since the age of 9 and has performed twice at Carnegie Hall.

Together, the three musicians bring a wealth of experience, talent and spirit to the work. All three sing and their voices blend well with the guitar, hammered dulcimer and fiddle, which are the primary instruments heard on the album.

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review by
John R. Lindermuth

20 October 2007

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