Music Reviews
The McKassons

The McKassons

Tripping Maggie

To purists, the idea of a band of Americans performing Celtic music feels wrong; however, the McKassons easily prove them wrong. This unsigned group from Tacoma, Washington not only has the balls to record Irish and Scottish folk standards, but they have the talent to cover them in their own way; don’t expect faux accents from these lads and lasses.

Given that they are Americans, the McKassons aren’t afraid of putting a Yank twist on this material. For example, the traditional Scottish ballad “Bonnie George Campbell” has an almost classic country feel, namely due to Brooke McKasson’s mournful crooning; you can almost imagine Patsy Cline covering it. But that’s among the qualities that make the McKassons so special: Their ability to take music from another time and a different land and transport them somewhere else. Their version of Bruce Springsteen’s “If I Should Fall Behind” is a knockout, taking the original singer/songwriter arrangement and transforming it into a classic Celtic folk song. It’s absolutely brilliant because, even if even you’ve never heard this Springsteen tune before, it still sounds like a tune of his although to my knowledge he’s never explored this genre before.

However, it’s not just about remakes with the McKassons. Their own compositions, such as “The Grapevine/Piper’s Jig” and the jaw-dropping title track, offer thrilling instrumental interplay. You can feel the love they have for Celtic music beneath your skin.

The McKassons:

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