Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Davy's dreams continue
James M. Bergstrom | Alameda, CA USA | 10/08/1999
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I've been reading the reviews provided for Davy Spillane's recordings, and I've just got to speak up. First of all, Rob Beattie is not well qualified to review this music - he lacks knowledge of the genre and instrumentation he is commenting on. The Uillean pipes don't require great lungs, the air is supplied by an arm operated bellows (flute and whistle players able to play phrasings similar to Spillane's are common, it's the pipes Beattie speaks of). Elsewhere he complains of Spillane's production of "A Place Among The Stones" with Maire Brennan singing, failing to recognize the stylistic treatment common to much of Clannad's work (Brennan is/was their vocalist). The voices are treated almost as instruments in the mix at times, giving the work an ambient feel that is wonderful in itself. Anyway, on to Shadow Hunter: I wouldn't call this Spillane's best work, but it is my personal favourite. From the traditional merging to contemporary rock sound of the opening cut to the almost New Age sound of some of the others, Davy Spillane and company provide us with a palette of sounds that refresh, inspire, and invigorate. One can use this music as a background when visiting with friends and it will be unobtrusive, yet one can crank up the volume and listen with both ears forward and be entranced and enchanted from start to finish. It plays well both to the initiated and novitiate alike - soulful melodies, audio spaces that evoke wide open landscapes, shadows of tall peaks, the slow passage of the sun across a day as long as night. Elsewhere there is the vigor and passion of the country folk gathering to celebrate a harvest, meet a mate, and dance the away the dust of a labouring life. Sean Tyrrell's vocals on his composition "Walker of the Snow" are as evocative as any ever done, telling the tale of a ghost encounter in the frozen, snowy north, vast and empty save for a trapper or two. The arrangement of Yeat's "Host of the Air" is a magnificent setting for a beautiful gem, and even if this isn't Spillane's best recording, it puts the work of many another to shame in it's scope and flavour. Buy this one first, and the other releases will be must haves for all who are open to the timelessness of great music. For me, a true desert island disc, perhaps the one indispensable among all the others."
Unexpectedly contemporary, but okay
dparker | Midwest City, OK USA | 01/16/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)
"In the wide-open spectrum that represents Celtic music, this album tends to fall along with Clannad into the category of Celtic music that is being blended with other, more modern genres and instrumentation. Those who prefer more traditional stuff may want to put this one a little lower on their wish list. Not that it's a bad album: there's plenty of good piping and whistle music. In most tracks the contemporary thing is reasonably subdued or else complements the main stuff. I prefer not listening to track one (the slide guitar thing, if that's what it is, is just too much), but that's just me. "Walker of the Snow" and "Host of the Air" are quite good, very haunting, and also a couple of other tracks whose names and numbers escape me now."
Good buy laadie
firstname.lastname@example.org | Davis, California | 02/07/1999
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Being someone who has most of his CD's, I must say that this one is really nice, but not one of my favorites. Taken so, I am not extremely hot on straight traditional piping, which he does a good amount of in this album. Still, he has a couple of masterpieces in there that display his true talent of mixing magical Celtic moods with less traditional influences. If you like traditional, this is definitely one for you."