Oxford Road Records
3501 Vallejo Street
Denver, CO 80211.
This review is written by Kevin McCarthy, 10/98
"Kevin and Maxine’s Celtic & Folk Music CD Reviews"
Colcannon is an Irish peasant dish of milk-and butter-moistened mashed potatoes mixed with finely chopped cooked onions and kale or cabbage. Colcannon is also Mick Bolger, Mike Fitzmaurice, Rod Garnett, Jean Harrison, and Brian Mullins. The former nourishes the body; the latter nourishes the mind and soul through an eclectic style of Celtic musical offerings ranging from traditional tunes, ballads, haunting chamber-type music, a bit of wit and even a oriental-flavored tune.
Containing seven story-songs, including one in gaelic, with the rest instrumentals, Colcannon offers a clear, clean sounding CD that is seemingly a melange of fused musical styles that often harmonizes into a unique sound.
The driving "Saint Bartholemew's Feast," crackles with energy as it opens the release. "The Little Drummer," another fast-paced ballad follows.
"Mary From Dungloe," a slow-paced, sad traditional tune tells the tale done so often and so well in Celtic music, of unrequited lovers kept apart by a disapproving father. Vocalist Mick Bolger's baritone matches well with this song.
What do you get when you mix two teenage cheerleaders, a 91-year-old man and a Catholic priest performing confessional duties? The answer is "The Confession," a shining example of the Celtic whimsical story-telling tradition and one of the highlights of this album.
The creative utilization of the bamboo flute and the erhu (a Chinese spike fiddle) on "Yellow Dog," make this western murder ballad a hybrid sound of Celtic and oriental music that works surprisingly well.
"Silas" is a sentimental tune about the rescue of a dog and the subsequent unbreakable attachment of the animal to his master, long after the master has departed from this life. One could easily picture Eric Bogle performing this song--it's that good.
The music presented here is accessible, a mixture of traditional Celtic sound, and the experimental, that seamlessly melds together. Try this group if you're looking for something a bit different but don't want to go too far afield.
Mick Bolger on vocals and bodhran, Mike Fitzmaurice on bass and guitar, Rod Garnett on flutes and fife, Jean Harrison on fiddle, piano and accordian, and Brian Mullins on mandolin, mandocello, bouzouski, guitar, flute, fife and erhu are the band members and their respective instruments.
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