Music Reviews

Gaelic Storm

Herding Cats

Higher Octave

Anybody who has seen HBO’s Making The Titanic special has been exposed to this Celtic minstrel quintet’s special brand of traditional Irish melodies, as their music was used throughout the special. They were also cast as the Steerage Band, subsequently providing Titanic with what might arguably be the musical highlight of the film, in the sweaty, whirling, below-decks scene.

This CD is dominated by the group’s own arrangements of time-tested traditional melodies, and is complimented by three original compositions from the pens of group members Steve Twigger and Steve Wehmeyer. The originals fit in with the traditionals so well as to make them nearly indistinguishable to all but the most knowledgeable of Celtic musicologists. It’s a fine collection of Celtic jigs, reels, and ballads with just a few dashes of Spanish guitar, Jamaican themes, hillbilly fiddle, and poly-rhythmic percussion thrown in to re-invigorate the old songs and liven the stew. The wide variety of influences that the various members bring to the party make for a style that is firmly anchored in tradition, yet spiced up to make it fresh and exciting. Load this CD into your player, get you a pint, sit back, and drift on away to the land o’green.

Higher Octave Music, 23852 Pacific Coast Highway, Suite 2C, Malibu, CA 90265;

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