Sbme Special Mkts.
World, Celtic Folk, Celtic, Contemporary Celtic, Traditional Celtic, Traditional Irish Folk, British Folk, Irish Folk

Album Review

The Chieftains' second album for Columbia Records was a distinct departure from the pattern of their previous releases in its structure. The opening number, "The Session," is exuberant enough, but for a change the percussion section is relatively restrained throughout, and it's the whistles (and especially the pipes and the fiddle later) that drive the piece, for a Bolero-like opening that builds across more than four minutes. And then it's off to the gentle, lyrical "Doctor John Hart," featuring harpist Derek Bell, before the group jumps into the boisterous "Seán Sa Cheo." And so it goes, through the rollicking "If I Had Maggie in the Wood," the lush fiddle showcase "The Dogs Among the Bushes," and the gently sentimental "Miss Hamilton," where plucked stringed instruments of all sorts get to generate their prettiest sounds. The mix of tempos, moods, and timbres alternate markedly throughout this, one of the more rich and diversely textured albums in the group's output, closing out with the seemingly boundless good spirits of "The Wind That Shakes the Barley/The Reel with the Beryl," all pipes and percussion at their brightest. The highlights, in addition to those already named, include the hauntingly lyrical tone poem "Sea Image" -- which one would like to see redone orchestrated with the group -- and the brooding "An Speic Seoigheach." Those are the profoundly serious moments on this record, but there's hardly a moment that's not profoundly beautiful, and not a second that's not worth hearing, over and over.
Bruce Eder, Rovi

Track Listing

  1. Session
  2. Doctor John Hart
  3. Seán Sa Cheo
  4. An tSean Bhean Bhocht/The Fairies' Hornpipe
  5. Sea Image
  6. If I Had Maggie in the Wood
  7. An Speic Seoigheach
  8. The Dogs Among the Bushes
  9. Miss Hamilton
  10. The Job of Journeywork
  11. The Wind That Shakes the Barley/The Reel with the Beryle