Celeste Ray

Celeste Ray

Celeste Ray

Strings of Gold

In about a month or two from now, when spring has been fully awakened, I know I will have an even deeper appreciation for Celeste Ray’s music. This is a collection of sun-drenched Celtic songs, about as pleasant and engaging as Irish folk music gets.

Fans of Enya might want to tune in now, although Ray doesn’t touch her synthetic atmospherics. A stronger comparison could be made with their voices. Like Enya, Ray has a voice that seems to have been ripped from an earlier age; her vocals — and style of singing — do not reflect any contemporary pop flavors. On “Come By the Hills,” Ray’s voice is so soothing to the ears that you’ll want to sleep in the middle of it. To another artist, that might be considered an insult. However, there’s nothing boring about Ray’s performances. Whether or not you like Celtic tunes, this is fairly accessible material, and it is consistently bright and engaging.

Ray’s instrument of choice is the bowed psaltery, and it creates an evocative sound that’ll feel new to most of you. Most of the album consists of covers, two of which rock & roll fans may have interpreted as originals –“Scarborough Fair” (popularized by Simon & Garfunkel) and “Whiskey in the Jar” (resurrected by Thin Lizzy and later by Metallica). “Scarborough Fair” is given a more mournful, reflective tone than the dreaminess of Simon & Garfunkel’s rendition. On “Whiskey in the Jar,” Ray hands it to guitarist James Gilchrist to sing, and the move merely adds more spice to an already vastly entertaining record.

Celeste Ray: www.celesteray.com

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked with *

Recently on Ink 19...

  • Best of Film 2021
    Best of Film 2021

    Lily and Generoso select and review their ten favorite features, seven supplemental films, and two prized repertory releases of 2021.

  • I Saw A Dozen Faces…
    I Saw A Dozen Faces…

    From The Windbreakers to Bark, Tim Lee is a trooper in the rock and roll trenches…and he’s lived to tell it all in his new memoir.

  • The Lyons
    The Lyons

    A man on his deathbed is surrounded by bickering family members, many of which you would strangle him given the chance. In other words: a brilliant comedy!

  • The Reading Room
    The Reading Room

    Today’s episode features author Anna-Marie O’Brien talking about her book Adventures of a Metalhead Librarian: A Rock N’ Roll Memoir with Ink 19’s Rose Petralia.

  • Bush Tetras
    Bush Tetras

    Rhythm and Paranoia (Wharf Cat). Review by Scott Adams.

  • Tom Tom Club
    Tom Tom Club

    The Good The Bad and the Funky (Nacional). Review by Julius C. Lacking.

  • Barnes & Barnes
    Barnes & Barnes

    Pancake Dream (Demented Punk Records). Review by Carl F. Gauze.

  • Jeremiah Lockwood
    Jeremiah Lockwood

    A Great Miracle: Jeremiah Lockwood’s Guitar Soli Chanukah Album (Reboot). Review by Bob Pomeroy.

  • Metallica: The $24.95 Book
    Metallica: The $24.95 Book

    From an underground band that pioneered the thrash metal sound, to arguably the biggest rock act in the new millennium, Metallica has had a long and tumultuous history. Ben Apatoff scours a myriad of sources to catalog this history in his new book.

  • Araceli Lemos
    Araceli Lemos

    Shortly after AFI Fest 2021 wrapped, Generoso spoke at length with director, Araceli Lemos about her award-winning and potent feature debut, Holy Emy. Lemos’s film uses elements of body horror in her story about the exoticization of two Filipina sisters living in Greece and how that exploitation creates a distance between them.

From the Archives