various artists,
Celtic Love Songs
(Celtophile, 1997; Eureka, 1999)

From the title, one might expect Celtic Love Songs to be a disc of maudlin ballads, but one would be 100 percent wrong. This is an amazing collection of 12 tracks, of which at least eight are completely new to me. Even well-known songs like "The Lakes of Pontchatrain" and "A Night Visitor's Song" are given new life by Deanta and Tannahill Weavers, respectively.

"The Galway Lover" is the opener by Cherish the Ladies, and it sets a standard that never falters. The harmony and the music combined with well-written words will captivate. Few songs are as powerful as "Lover's Heart," performed here by Silly Wizard. I would simply love to hear this in a live performance. It is sweet and simple but has a latent power.

"Last night we spoke of love, now we're forced to part, you leave to the sound of a marching drum and the beat of a lover's heart." As you will guess it is a tale of love between a maiden and a soldier. The voice of singer Andy M. Stewart, who wrote the song, gives it a fantastic reality, and the whistle will haunt your dreams.

"Carraighdouhn" is another tune that takes the breath away as performed by Cherish the Ladies. "Bonny Blue Eyed Nancy" is a haunting track from Mick Moloney and Eugene O'Donnell. Again it is simple love song that we all think we could sing because they make it so effortlessly beautiful.

Speaking of haunting, if you are lucky enough to get hold of this CD listen to Relativity play "When She Sleeps." Play this soft track loud and be transported to another place. In fact, play this whole album loud and long. Let the world hear what they are missing. Other performers include Altan, Andy M. Stewart and Trian.

Sadly there are no lyrics printed and very little information is given on either the songs or the singers.

[ by Nicky Rossiter ]
Rambles: 22 June 2002

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