Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Genres: Folk, World Music, New Age, Pop
The word Altan means a "stream," but "raging river" might better describe the career of this band. Harvest Storm was a watershed album, offering a solid mix of forward-looking idealism while holding fast to tradition. It ... more »
Listen to Samples
Amazon.com essential recording
The word Altan means a "stream," but "raging river" might better describe the career of this band. Harvest Storm was a watershed album, offering a solid mix of forward-looking idealism while holding fast to tradition. It earned the group numerous awards, and paired with Island Angel, may be the best work they'll ever produce. They pay close attention to their Northern roots here. Songs like the title track and "Pretty Peg" attain high energy while the closing track, "Dobbin's Flowery Vale," remembers the power of the sad, subtle ballad. There's no lack of history to their vision, and no lack of interest in the new sounds of Celtic music, but they were still staying above the coming tide of synthesized swoosh that defines Celtic music in the '90s. --Louis Gibson
Similarly Requested CDs
The best work by the best Celtic group of the last 20 years
Colin R. Glassey | Bay Area, CA USA | 01/12/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Harvest Storm is the perfect Altan album. There is not a weak song here. The playing, the singing, the arrangements are all perfect. The song "King of the Pipers" is just about the best song they ever recorded (only An Mhaighhdean Mhara from Island Angel is better).Truth is, Island Angel (their very next recording) and this record are two of the most beautiful records you will ever hear.Perhaps I'm getting ahead of myself here. What is so special about Altan? Well they play Irish/Celtic music. Very traditional yet somehow modern in the way they approach the music. They take this music VERY seriously. Not that they aren't having a good time but this music matters and they play it with a cool but fierce passion.Whatever their motivation, Altan picks great songs and then plays them BETTER than anyone has ever played them before. They don't write much original material (usually one or two songs per record) but when you hear their version of the song, somehow, it feels right! One must also mention the singing of Mairead Ni Mhaonaigh. She doesn't sing on every track, about half of each record is pure instrumentals. But when she does sing, she can break your heart."
The Single Best CD of Irish Music ever!
o dubhthaigh | north rustico, pei, canada | 01/31/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"There is only one thing you need to know about this disc: It is the best CD of Irish Music ever created. Altan is every bit the artistic and creative equivalent of the Miles Davis group with Coltrane and Evans. In the jazz world, the music never ever got that amazing after them, and the world was by no means ready for works like "Kind of Blue."
Say the same for this outfit. Especially since at the time of the recording, leader Frankie Kennedy knew his life was running out. Maybe that is what infuses every breath he plays on this CD with a sense of urgency. Maybe that is what took his remarkable colleagues to unprecedented heights on this collective outpouring of emotional and compelling music. This is genius from the very beginning note until all dissolves painfully away in "Dobbins Flowery Vale."
One more disc with this lineup would follow and it would be Frankie's coda, and leave a legacy that will be treasured and preserved long, long after all of us are gone. But right here is when it all went supernova. Mairead is the greatest Irish fiddle player ever in the entire history of the tradition. She rips through these reels, schottisches and slips jigs with unbridled passion. Her voice comes from someplace mystical and transports the listener to the realms only aislings can see. She brings the very best out of Ciaran Tourish and Daithi Sproule as they counter her parries on fiddle and in daithi's case on vocals. Holding down the rhythm as no one else, including the esteemable Mr Lunny, is Ciaran Curran. As co-founder with Mairead and Frankie, he knew well the precipice they were approaching with Frankie's illness. Bravery infuses his indomitable spirit in centering all the proceedings on this disc. Live at this stage, they were incandescently brilliant. White hot! In the studio, a sense of the divine settles in and the entire confidence that Music brings to those who are devoted from the heart pours out at times on fire, at times like honey.
If you are only to own 1 CD in your life of Irish music, this is the one. This is the Holy Grail of an entire tradition. The remarkable thing is they did it again with "Island Angel.""
Brilliant traditional Irish fare with a twist
R. Banfield | Downers Grove, IL | 03/09/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)
"For those of you who think Celtic music is limited to Riverdance or those droning new-age "Celtic Moods" compilations, welcome to Altan. This is exciting, traditional, Saturday-night-at-the-pub music that will have you dancing one minute and crying the next. But just when you think you can't deal with one more second of fiddling, here comes "Si Do Mhaimeo I" with its unusual accompaniment. I love this CD and so will you!"