All right, well I have myself to blame for not getting these albums out two weeks ago in time for St. Patrick’s Day, I’m an Italian boy, what do you want from me, Avid Reader? To make up for my mistake, here are two albums of Celtic music that you might find enjoyable for next year or any night you feel like drinking.
Cathy Jordan – All the Way Home: Some of you may recognize Ms. Jordan from her work with the band Dervish, and this is her solo debut. As I’m not familiar with Dervish I must say that this album was a good introduction, with a mix of traditional Celtic songs and some original pieces to make this a cool listen. The string accompaniments are wonderful, but her voice is what will pull you right in as she adds her own mark to each track. Several of the songs tell stories and her voice carries those struggles along for all to hear. Check out “The Bold Fenian Men”, “Eileen McMahon” and the upbeat “Ould Ballymoe”.
The Chieftains – Voice of Ages: For decades this familiar group has been making Celtic music for the masses and endured every other style of popular music. So what do you do for a new album in 2012? Why not invite some of the biggest names in independent music, and an astronaut, to jam; that’s just what they did. This album has collaborations with: Imelda May, The Low Anthem, Carolina Chocolate Drops, The Civil Wars, Bon Iver, The Decemberists, Carlos Nunez, Punch Brothers, Lisa Hannigan, Pistol Annies and NASA Astronaut Cady Coleman recording herself in space. If you have a favorite artist, then get their track and a few others to broaden your taste. My picks would be the songs featuring: Imelda May, Pistol Annies, Carolina Chocolate Drops and Lisa Hannigan. This is just good fun that you can dance to or sit and listen to over a brimming pint.